May 24, 2018

IMPD Starts Mandatory Implicit Bias Training For Recruits

Active IMPD officers are in charge of teaching the implicit bias curriculum to recruits. (Photo: Drew Daudelin/WFYI)

Implicit bias training started Thursday for incoming officers in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. It’s the first time the training is mandatory for recruits.

IMPD announced mandatory implicit bias training after the shooting of Aaron Bailey last year created tension between police and the community.

During part of the training, 53 recruits discussed trust issues underlying that tension.

Recruit officer Steven Baumer says communication is key.

“If we help people to understand why we are doing what we’re doing, then it’s no longer an authoritative ‘Do this do that, I’m in charge,’” Baumer says.

Major Richard Riddle says IMPD plans to implement bias training across the entire department but says pulling active officers off duty is a logistical challenge.

He says the curriculum focuses on building a mutual understanding with community members.

“There are things that we know as police officers, or at least we think we know when we go out to these communities, that we have no idea about," Riddle says. "And on the flip side, there are other things that the community thinks they know about policing, they have no idea that goes into policing.”

Riddle says a new class of recruits will receive the training in three weeks.

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