Officers from the UMass Amherst Police Department and Amherst Police Department participated in joint training July 26-28 on Fair and Impartial Policing (FIP), according to Ian Cyr, deputy chief for operations.
FIP is a nationally recognized organization that is on the leading edge of scientific research that discusses issues of implicit human bias. The training focused on how police officers can recognize their own biases, work to reduce them or understand how to mitigate any impact of bias while performing their duties. In addition to the science of implicit bias, participants discussed how police can improve perceptions of procedural justice and increase police legitimacy.
While not solely focused on race, the course demonstrated that stereotyping people or groups, including police, can be unsafe, ineffective and unjust to the communities that officers serve, said Cyr.
All UMPD patrol officers and supervisors participated, said Cyr, and APD sent most of its staff as well.
Last November, another program from FIP brought the two departments’ chiefs and upper command staff together with members of the community to discuss the same issues.