Screenshot of Facebook video

Implicit Bias Training for Police Gaining Attention

During the first presidential debate late last month, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was asked whether she felt implicit bias was present among police. Her response: “I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police.”


Clinton said if elected president she intends to implement implicit bias training for police officers and to use federal dollars to fund those programs, with the goal of addressing the root of these biases.

“I think too many of us in our great country jump to conclusions about each other,” she said, “and, therefore, I think we need all of us to be asking hard questions like, ‘Why am I feeling this way'”

According to research, it is undetermined whether implicit bias training is effective in changing officer behavior. Implicit bias training is designed to train officers in identifying their subconscious prejudices and bias regarding factors such as race and gender.

Most of the time, successful programs boil down to the skill of the person training the officers, as well as the ability of the departments to afford follow up training. The training is designed to help officers identify prejudices and not act on them.

The concept moved to the forefront of policymakers’ agendas in 2014, following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. After that incident, President Barack Obama praised the practice of implicit bias training, and since then a number of police departments across the country have begun implementing these programs and training.

Related Story: Two Years After Ferguson: Has Reform Happened

Issues with the training are that one session is not enough, yet departments cannot afford follow up sessions. In some instances, officers may be resistant to their instructors. Research also shows that after the sessions, participants tend to revert back to their biases and prejudices.

Experts stress the need for ongoing training for a department to successfully rid itself of biases. Clearly, these biases have trickled through departments across the country, like when New York still had its controversial stop and frisk policy.

Related Story: NYC Mayor Warns Trump: ‘Stop and frisk’ Will Make Things Worse

The data from that policy showed that in some years over 80 percent of the citizens chosen for a stop and frisk search were a minority.

Other methods to hold officers accountable include the use of equipment like bodycams, as well as having departments be more transparent with their traffic stop and search data.

Related Story: Police Body Cam Policies Fail to Meet Standards, Study Finds

Just as with implicit bias training, these strategies do not always hold up as efficiently in practice as they do in theory. An ongoing study regarding body cams at police departments was updated this past August. The study concluded that of 50 United States police departments with body cam policies, none of them are effectively and appropriately implementing these policies. Notably, the police department in Ferguson failed to meet even the minimum qualifications in any of the areas the study took into account.

These types of methods can assist officers in thinking twice before letting their biases escalate a situation and have lethal consequences. Though implicit bias training is not perfect, overall it is seen as a step in the right direction toward officers ridding prejudice notions from their day-to-day jobs.

Implicit Bias at Work

Implicit, or unconscious, bias affects job functions in all industries and is becoming a popular topic among employers. At DiversityInc’s 2016 Top 50 Learning Sessions this past April, Lissiah Hundley, diversity & inclusion strategist for Cox Enterprises, presented “Addressing Unconscious Bias.” According to Hundley, “It is influenced by our background, family, cultural environment, personal experiences, etc.”

Related Video: Cox’s Lissiah Hundley Talks About Addressing Unconscious Bias

More recently, at DiversityInc’s fall conference, “Conquering Recruiting Challenges,” Hundley moderated a panel called “Unconscious Bias at the Recruiting Stage.” Panelists included Melissa Harper, VP, global talent acquisition, inclusion and diversity and HR compliance,Monsanto(No. 43 on the2016 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversitylist); Chris Louie, SVP, global talent acquisition,Nielsen (No. 41); and Michael Peters, senior director of talent acquisition and talent management,Comcast NBCUniversal(No. 29).

Related Video: Unconscious Bias at the Recruiting Stage

The executives discussed unconscious bias they’ve witnessed during the recruiting stage in their own careers and explained different strategies their companies have employed to overcome it.

“Recruiting has never been as difficult as it is today and it’s never going to get any easier,” Harper said, adding that effective diverse recruitment is “not a one size fits all” and requires a global lens.

To access the full video of the panel be sure to subscribe to DiversityInc Best Practices. Not sure if your company is a member Click here to find out.

Latest News

Increasing Response to Pandemic, Toyota Partners with American Safety Company Bullard

Originally published on pressroom.toyota.com. Toyota Production System key to ramping up production in warp speed, providing critical items to healthcare workers Toyota-Bullard team applied TPS to produce faceshields, respirators, hoods Eliminated backlog of faceshield orders; 700-percent increase in output from March to April Doubled production capacity for respirators; 85-percent faster…

nielsen

Nielsen Reinforces Leadership in Pet Retail Through Expansion of Store Coverage

Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) Global Connect today announced the enhancement of its Nielsen Total U.S. Pet Retail measurement, strengthening the industry’s most holistic view into the U.S. pet retail market. Already measuring more than $30 billion in annual sales of pet products, Nielsen will further enhance its coverage of the growing neighborhood pet channel and more frequently update its best-in-class retail universe.

Hershey’s Joins Jet-Puffed and Honey Maid Brands Make National S’mores Day Extra Sweet By Giving Back $50,000 To Small, Local Restaurants

Originally published on thehersheycompany.com. Summer screams S’mores, but this year it is screaming louder than ever with approximately 10M more of the classic treat made this year compared to last1. With many of America’s beloved restaurants closed due to quarantine orders or limited in capacity due to social distancing, Americans…