CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – More than two dozen Chesapeake Police officers are in training this week for fair and impartial policing. The department said the chief planned the training to be proactive.
Mary Hoerig, a retired inspector with the Milwaukee Police Department, talked to the officers about bias Wednesday.
“All of us have implicit bias, no matter what profession you’re in,” she said.
Hoerig said she has taught the program across the country, in cities like Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Minneapolis.
“It opens up the conversation. As long as you can recognize that things are going on, you have more conversation about it, as long as the communication’s there, it betters the department,” said Detective Kahlil Pacheco.
Hoerig went over what officers should do if they notice concerning trends in a peer’s policing technique.
“They might not even know this is happening. These are little things that you’ve noticed,” she told the class.
Hoerig said studies show law enforcement officers do much better in use of force simulators if they have had contact with groups other than themselves. If officers recognize bias, they might not be as quick to be impacted by it in their behavior, she said.
“They want to recognize their biases. They are very willing to figure out how they can manage it. They want to know what does the science tell us and how can we do the job better?” she said.