IAPPA members are professionals that know what they are doing. They have been trained and exposed to the job, so they are familiar with the methods of effective law enforcement. Any trained person who watched George Floyd’s video and knows the basics of restraining techniques also knows that was wrong. But why does that happen?
Many times before, similar situations had been seen. But there was always a way to doubt the motivation behind it. Usually on the person themselves, having a criminal record, an object that appeared to be a weapon or acting in a threatening way. This time, the entire action was caught on camera and there was no word to be said against George Floyd. Not even a chance to cover up.
Now, assuming that every policeman and woman in Minnesota has proper training and knows how to restrain a suspect, why would they do what they did if there wasn’t an internal motivation so they feel entitled to do that to that person while they would not to others? The answer is clear and something must be done about it.
IAPPA considers the police’s main task as peacekeeping. A weak police endangers social peace created an opening for several other problems. That is why the accreditation process at IAPPA is so rigorous, as we do our part to strengthen the security and law enforcement worldwide. There are good examples within the IAPPA community and outside. The police academy in Raleigh, North Carolina, conducts at least eight hours of implicit stereotype / unconscious bias training per year. An Orlando based program called RITE (Racial Intelligence Training & Engagement) has been providing courses for several police departments.
After the death of Michael Brown in 2014, Arizona implemented a comprehensive cultural awareness and sensitivity training to fight racial bias which was heavily criticized. One year later, use of force by the police had reduced by 30%. Against any citizen. Having trained and certified thousands of police officers worldwide, IAPPA firmly rejects the idea of stereotyping police as racist and as a threat to society. “It’s just the opposite” says Oliver Becker, IAPPA’s Global President, “Where there is a good functioning police, everybody feels safe. More must be done to support law enforcement to excel in their jobs”.
Every community has their own issued and bias is human. It is impossible, however, to live up by the highest standards of serving and protecting everyone equally if officers feel entitled to act differently toward specific groups. Ensuring equal treatment, everybody wins.
Therefore, IAPPA is now pushing for mandatory sensitivity training in every police academy worldwide as this is a requirement for academy accreditation with the Association. The entire society will benefit. Let’s send a signal and start acting now.