Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler will sponsor several sessions of a training program for police officers, entitled “Diversity Training for Security Personnel.”
The programs will be presented by Ares Tactical and Emergency Management Solutions, LLC, of East Norwich, and will be held at the Orange County Emergency Services Center in Goshen on Tuesday, Nov. 17, and Thursday, Nov. 19. Two sessions will be held each day.
The programs are part of Hoovler’s ongoing effort to improve the quality of law enforcement and the criminal justice system in Orange County and to assist the county’s police agencies.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, attendance will be limited to 40 officers at each session, in order to maintain appropriate social distancing.
Issues to be addressed
The programs will focus on issues pertaining to diversity as they relate to policing. Subjects include: defining diversity and inclusion as they relate to law enforcement; cultural awareness; bias and implicit bias; inclusion and teamwork; and the importance of having transparent, fair and impartial enforcement.
The training is designed to assist police officers and police agencies to be more inclusive in their work, to be culturally sensitive to those that they serve, and to recognize and address conscious and unconscious biases that they may hold and that might affect the performance of their duties.
“It is inevitable that police officers perform much of their essential and dangerous work under contentious and stress filled circumstances,” Hoovler said. “As important as it is that police officers perform their jobs well, and in my experience the vast majority of them do, it is equally as important that they do so in as transparent and respectful a manner as possible.
“If our communities are to have confidence in our justice system, that system must not only be fair, it must be perceived as being fair,” the district attorney added. “It is no secret that our country is in the midst of a period of great tension as pertains to police officers. That tension is even greater in communities where there is a perception that some officers act in a biased or unfair way.
“I firmly believe,” Hoovler concluded, “that training on recognizing racial or cultural issues that affect community perceptions of officers, and becoming aware of explicit or implicit biases that may cause officers to appear as if they are not acting in an even-handed manner, will help not only police officers as they perform their jobs, but also the communities that they serve.”