UAPD gets special training dealing with bias, racial sensitivity

UAPD: Racial intelligence training

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Police at the University of Alabama hope the training they received this week will keep personal bias or problems at home from affecting how they do their job.

Officers participated Racial Intelligence Training and Engagement. Trainers with the RITE Academy want participants to understand how to recognize their emotions and personal bias so they won’t come into play while they’re interacting with the public.

“Know who you are emotionally before you get out of that patrol car. Take a breath. Take a two second pause and then engage,” Randy Friedman, co-founder of the RITE Academy explained.

That requires officers to admit how they really feel about some people, neighborhoods and situations.

Chief John Hooks of the University of Alabama Police Department said departments have to do more to look into the backgrounds of the people they hire. He added that after recruits are hired, departments should work with them when it comes to better sensitivity, racial diversity and implicit bias training.

“I just need to understand that it’s my job to make sure that we serve our community in its entirety and we do it fairly and justly across the board,” he said.

Officers from nearly a dozen other agencies took part in the two day training. This training will be mandatory for all officers in UAPD.

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