Case Study: Bias Reduction and Racial Equity
“A municipal policing organization needs to provide training on bias reduction and racial equity, and it’s also looking to develop stronger officer recruitment strategies with diverse communities.”
Situation: A large municipal policing service had made a public commitment in partnership with the city to ensure that senior and mid-level staff and officers understood and could act on incidents of racism. The service was also interested in ensuring that organizational policies and practices were equitable, fair and provided the highest level of service to a diverse community.
What We Did: In partnership with the municipal government, the municipal police service retained CFRAC to develop and deliver the entire senior leadership training to the deputy chiefs. The training consisted of 3 full days run several times over a year. CFRAC’s consulting team used a collaborative needs assessment process that understood the unique culture of law enforcement and working with the Equity Diversity and Human Rights Unit of the police service. We were then able to create an educational process that allowed members to discuss issues such as bias in policing, equity policy, community engagement, and working with Aboriginal, visible minority and newcomer populations.
Benefits of the Process: Outcomes of the training ensured a solid conceptual base for leadership to work on equity and operationalize the knowledge with front-line staff and officers. CFRAC’s training created a common language and point of reference for the service to engage in strong equity and human rights practices. In the eyes of many community members, it established the determination and commitment to engage in fair, truly community-based policing.
During the training, leadership recognized a need to have CFRAC work specifically with the service’s Recruitment and Selection Unit. The unit had been given a mandate to recruit several recruits and was looking to ensure that their processes recognized bias and provided culturally competent recruitment of new members. Our consulting team developed a strong training and community engagement module that allowed the unit to reflect on how it reached out to diverse populations and ensured a robust understanding of how cultural bias can impact the selection process.
Outcomes of the partnership included developing a policy on the recruitment of women who wear hijab, recognition of the importance of retired officers, and the development of practices to engage more effectively with under-represented groups in the municipal police service.
CFRAC’s work with law enforcement is ongoing and adaptive. If your agency is interested in collaborating to make your service more diverse, culturally competent and equitable, give us a call!