The U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will use a new training program developed by Lorie Fridell, an associate professor of criminology at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The program is aimed at educating law enforcement officers to recognize their implicit biases.
The Justice Department said that more than 23,000 agents at the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals Service will be required to undergo the training.
Dr. Fridell, who holds a Ph.D. in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine, states that “the science-based training program is designed to help people understand how implicit biases can impact their lives and work. It also helps participants make these discoveries in a blame-free environment, one that recognizes that even the most well-intentioned officers and agents can experience unconscious biases.”
The Fair & Impartial Law Enforcement training program has different sections for line personnel, supervisors, and executive-level appointees.
In announcing the training, U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said that “at the Department of Justice, we are committed to ensuring that our own personnel are well trained in the core principles and best practices of community policing. Today’s announcement is an important step in our ongoing efforts to promote fairness, eliminate bias and build the stronger, safer, more just society that all Americans deserve.”