Fair and Impartial Policing

The Cheektowaga Police Department is proud to be the first department in New York State to bring Fair and Impartial Policing training to the entire Department. From April 20-24th, 2015, every member of the Police force underwent training tailored to their assignment and rank, in the science of implicit bias and how it can impact officers as they perform their duties. Officer learned about the large body of research that has identified how individuals can reduce their implicit biases, or at least, ensure that their implicit biases do not affect their behavior.

This training, developed in partnership with the Department of Justice, taught that all people, even well intentioned people, have biases; and this is normal human functioning. Patrol officers, Detectives, and Sergeants all underwent a full day of training. Officers learned skills to identify biased behavior in their direct reports and take corrective actions when they detect biased policing. The resulting fair and impartial policing techniques that were learned and are now put to use, as a cornerstone of procedural justice and important for the achievement of agency legitimacy.

Command staff underwent a two day training session, conducted by the program’s founder- Dr. Lorie Fridell, which included community leaders and stakeholders from  a diverse set of organizations. Representatives were in attendance from the Cheektowaga Town Council, the FBI, several local religious organizations, community groups, Crises Services, the Buffalo Chapter of NAACP, and the National Federation for Just Communities. This training covered the science of bias, its implications for policing, and the elements of a comprehensive agency program to promote fair and impartial policing. This included assessments in the realms of policy, recruitment and hiring, training, supervision and accountability, leadership, measurement, and outreach to diverse communities. Attendees left the training with an action plan to implement a comprehensive program to promote fair and impartial policing.

The science-based Fair and Impartial Policing perspective is wholly constant with the law enforcement commitment to evidence-based policing. It rejects the traditional way of thinking about this national issue, which has overused labels such as “racist,” applying them to even the overwhelming number of well-meaning law enforcement professionals who, in fact, aspire to provide fair and just policing in the communities they serve. Both law enforcement professionals and concerned community stakeholders can come together around this common perspective and its associated plans of action for police at all levels of the department.

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New Skills