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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

145 N Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20530

November 2022 | Volume 15 | Issue 11

What is bias? How do we recognize it? And what do we do about it? A new Managing Bias (MB) course soon to be offered by the COPS Office and CNA aims to answer these complicated questions in small classes of diverse voices. Classes will be offered online and in person, and participating agencies are encouraged to include all ranks and all roles in the training, including nonsworn employees.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Who should attend this training? Our target audience includes law enforcement personnel of all ranks, sworn and nonsworn employees; all are encouraged to participate.
  • How long is the training and what is the course structure?
  • The training course is eight hours long (one day) and includes the following four modules:
    1. What is bias?
    2. Where does bias come from?
    3. Bridging the trust gap
    4. Managing bias
  • Can we train our entire department?
    Absolutely! Each training session is capped at 25 participants, so we will schedule sessions to train all personnel. We can also schedule training sessions in partnership with your neighboring agencies or adopt a regional approach including many agencies in your area.
  • What does this mean for my department?
    We are hoping to reach law enforcement agencies of all types and sizes across the United States—local, state, and campus police and sheriffs’ offices. We will be evaluating the efficacy of this training and want to ensure our evaluation captures the diversity of those in the profession.
  • Whom should I contact if I’m interested in this training?
    Please contact CNA Law Enforcement Recruitment Coordinator, Amada Bond.

The MB training course is rooted in the following basic premises:

  • Bias is universal and affects all people.
  • Prejudice can be challenged and overcome.
  • Respectful dialogue is needed.
  • The wisdom of the group is great.
  • There are no easy answers.
  • Time is valuable.
  • Change is a process.
  • Diversity is a strength.

The MB training course facilitates discussion among law enforcement professionals to help them understand key concepts regarding bias (including implicit bias) and recognize those concepts’ relevance to contemporary policing practices. Through interactive and engaging activities, participants learn and practice crucial skills and strategies designed to minimize bias and address its challenges on the job. The course is led by seasoned, professional facilitators who encourage participation and reflection, and it can be tailored to meet each participating agency’s needs.

The MB course is based in social scientific understanding about bias and includes the latest research. CNA is working with Dr. Calvin Lai and Dr. Katie Lewis from Washington University in St. Louis, experts in bias, to evaluate the training’s efficacy and measure its impact on officers. Your participation will contribute to our broader understanding of both bias and what works to address it in police training.

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.

Laura L. Kunard, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow Center for Justice Research and Innovation

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