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May 2023 | Volume 16 | Issue 5

Since announcing the launch of the new Managing Bias (MB) training course for law enforcement agencies, CNA has delivered seven pilot training sessions. The MB training course, which is based in the social science of bias, facilitates discussion among law enforcement professionals to help them understand key concepts regarding bias and recognize the relevance of those concepts to contemporary policing practices.

So far, 145 sworn and nonsworn law enforcement personnel have taken the MB training, and their feedback has been constructive. Many participants have indicated that they enjoyed the MB training more than other anti-bias training they have received because it recognizes that bias is universal—something relevant not only in the law enforcement context but everywhere, for everyone. Participants have also expressed appreciation for the “neutral manner in which information was relayed and presented” and for the interactive activities.

Importantly, CNA received some constructive critical feedback from the pilot trainings as well. Participants expressed a strong desire for including more law enforcement examples and current events to guide the discussion on how managing bias strategies can be applied to their jobs. Furthermore, participants expressed a strong desire for more in-depth content instead of just covering the basics of bias. CNA respects and appreciates this feedback and has since worked to incorporate it to enhance the curriculum.

Policing has progressed in many ways in recent years, with many departments that registered for the training having already received some sort of bias training in the past. This revamped curriculum is innovative—it not only covers some of the basic concepts related to managing bias but also takes it a bit further and encourages deeper dialogue and provides applicable strategies for law enforcement to use out in the field. CNA is excited to roll out the new training curriculum to law enforcement agencies across the country but is particularly interested in those agencies local to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and surrounding states. To submit a request for this training, please complete the MB Training Interest Form.

CNA is also working with an independent research team at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) that is evaluating the training. This team is exploring both the training’s impact on participants and the effect of monetary incentives for participation in evaluation surveys. The incentive aims to increase not only the number of officers completing the surveys but also those participating in the training. The evaluation team hopes its research will contribute to our broader understanding of both bias and what works to address it in policing. The COPS Office, CNA, and the WUSTL team will be presenting an overview of the project at the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing Conference in May 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

CNA’s Center for Justice Research and Innovation applies research, analysis, and technical assistance to solve complex problems in the public and government sectors. Through methodologically sound scientific research grounded in field operations analysis and assistance—and through close connections with justice agency management and operations—CNA helps local, state, and federal organizations achieve practical results that save lives, promote justice, and improve trust and accountability in justice system operations. Visit the website to learn more about the Center for Justice Research and Innovation.

To learn more about this training, please contact Project Manager Amada Bond and Law Enforcement Recruitment Coordinator Lauren Duhaime.

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