BUILDING TRUST WITH COMMUNITIES
Beginning in 2014, the Academy engaged in a collaborative effort with Dr. Cynthia Lum, Director of the George Mason University’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, to create an on-line training program around the topics of implicit bias, procedural justice, and police/community relations training. The goal was to produce a portal on the GMU website to provide a free online resource for police agencies to use in developing their own training with regard to strengthening trust and confidence with the citizens and communities that they serve.
Over the course of calendar year 2015, work on this training web portal continued. The Academy assisted by facilitating interviews with area law enforcement executives and Academy executive staff to provide video content for the website. Within this site are presentations and resources on a wide variety of subject matters, from the science of implicit bias as well as community and police perspectives on the complex relationship between police and the public. The site also provides links to the knowledge base on topics such as procedural justice, race relations, and community crime prevention. The goal of bringing this information to a web portal was to provide police agencies, academia, and members of the public with freely-available, contemporary and evidence-based information to help expand and supplement training that may not be well covered by traditional means.
In January 2016, with the production in its final stages, Dr. Lum asked the Academy to perform a critical review of the website for content, format, and flow. Dean Goodwin performed this critical review. The review was completed in January and the final product received high praise from Dr. Lum. The recommendations from that review were implemented and, in February 2016, this collaborative online training platform was made available nationwide.
In June, the site was enhanced with the addition of a video presentation titled “Why Words Matter.” This presentation was developed as a recruit learning assignment by Captain Carl Crawford (Deputy Director - Basic Training) to stress the importance of officers being aware of the impact their words and actions can have on others. Several of the recruits from Session 133 were selected to have their assignments video recorded so that their insightful thoughts could be added to the website. Kevin Fox assisted in creating a high quality video production of this assignment.
This collaboration is part of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy’s Matrix Demonstration Project, funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Matrix Demonstration Project houses the Evidence-Based Policing Matrix, and also includes collaborative efforts between researchers and law enforcement practitioners to find creative ways to incorporate research knowledge into everyday policing practices. The site can be found through the following link: http://cebcp.org/evidence-based-policing/building-trust/