White Plains Integrating “Fair & Impartial Policing” Implicit “Bias” Training Department Wide

This past July, four members of The White Plains Department of Public Safety received certification from “Fair & Impartial Policing to conduct Implicit Bias Training. Captain Joseph Castelli, Lieutenant James Spencer, Sergeant LaValle Larrier, and Sergeant Kevin Farrelly all attended this three day course in Camden, New Jersey along with members of The Camden County Police Department and other New Jersey Police Departments. Our Department is scheduled to train all White Plains Police Supervisors in October 2016, with Captain Castelli leading instruction. Every other White Plains Police Officer will receive this during the upcoming week-long In-Service-Training which begins in January 2017. This is the next evolution of “cultural & sensitivity” training as a follow up to Procedural Justice training that all White Plains Officers received during the week-long 2016 In-Service-Training. Lieutenant Spencer will also conduct outreach to the community to give updates regarding this training evolution. The following are excerpts from Fair & Impartial Policing and info regarding Procedural Justice.

Excerpt from Fair & Impartial Policing:

“The ‘fair & impartial policing perspective’ reflects a new way of thinking about the issue of biased policing. It is based on the science of bias, which tells us that biased policing is not, as some contend, due to widespread racism in policing. In fact, the science tells that even well-intentioned humans (and thus, officers) manifest biases that can impact on their perceptions and behavior. These biases can manifest below consciousness.

The implication of the science is that even the best law enforcement officers may manifest bias because they are human, and even the best agencies, because they hire humans, must be proactive in producing fair &impartial policing. Agencies (at least those that hire humans) need to implement what is called a “comprehensive program to produce fair &impartial policing.” This program addresses the ill-intentioned police who produce biased policing and the overwhelming number of well-intentioned police in this country who aspire to fair & impartial policing, but who are human like the rest of us. Elements of this comprehensive program encompass (a) recruitment/hiring; (b) agency policy; (c) training; (d) leadership supervision and accountability; (e) assessing institutional practices and policies; (f) outreach to diverse communities; and (g) measurement.

The training element of the comprehensive program is critical for changing the way we think about biased policing in this country and preventing its occurrence. While training cannot easily undo the implicit associations that took a lifetime to develop, the social psychologists have shown that, with information and motivation, people can implement controlled (unbiased) behavioral responses that override automatic (biased) associations. The implication is that law enforcement departments need to provide training that makes personnel aware of their unconscious biases so that they are able and motivated to activate controlled responses to counteract them.”

Procedural Justice:

Underlying procedural justice is the idea that the criminal justice system must constantly be demonstrating its legitimacy to the public it serves. If the public ceases to view its justice system as legitimate, dire consequences ensue. Put simply, people are more likely to comply with the law and cooperate with law enforcement efforts when they feel the system and its actors are legitimate.