At present, racial and cultural conflicts between law enforcement and civilians are, unfortunately, a frequent occurrence. Recent research identifies the lack of cultural sensitivity and inadequate training of police officers as some of the core problems (Henderson, 2020). Several cases within the last few years, including the killing of George Floyd and Tamir Rice, demonstrate the necessity of change in police reform (Henderson, 2020). As a result, it is essential to improve the existing training regimes and promote cultural diversity among law enforcement officers to minimize the amount of police violence. The list below presents some of the policies that could be implemented to improve the cultural sensitivity among personnel and reduce brutality.
- Increase the amount of de-escalation training with the emphasis on cultural and ethical differences;
- Change police implicit bias training;
- Create a comprehensive feedback system for officers’ performance;
- Ban chokeholds and strangleholds;
- Local policy on demilitarization.
One of the most productive methods to reduce the amount of police brutality toward racial and ethical minorities is the redistribution of training programs. At present, most police recruits are required to spend an extensive amount of time on shooting training, while the practice of non-violent methods is much less prominent (Woodward & Mark, 2020). Therefore, it is essential to increase the amount of de-escalation training and teach future police officers that shooting should always be the last resort.
Research on Implicit Bias Training
Consequently, recent research has demonstrated that implicit bias training is not an effective method of improving cultural sensitivity. While the objective of this method is to reduce racial bias, the results are rarely noticeable (Woodward & Mark, 2020). Implicit bias is a consequence of a stereotyped society and cannot be eliminated within several hours of lecturing. As a result, it is advisable to either increase the amount of implicit bias training in an attempt to change the local organizational culture or substitute it with more effective protocols, such as de-escalation practice.
Feedback and Evaluation
A comprehensive feedback system is another effective method to reduce the amount of police brutality and neglect. While this strategy does not explicitly improve cultural sensitivity, the data about officers’ use of force might be used to reduce the number of police violations (Police use of force policy analysis, 2016). In 2016, only 15 police departments reviewed the complaints concerning weapon threats from officers, while, in 2021, this number increased to 39 (How police use of force, 2021). The findings demonstrate the effectiveness and increasing popularity of the feedback system.
Chokehold and Strangleholds
Chokeholds and other means to restrict the movement of the neck and head might frequently be the cause of a lethal outcome. As a result, the police departments that had banned these techniques have approximately 22% fewer overall killings from their police officers (How police use of force, 2021). Regardless of the health of the suspect, chokeholds and strangleholds are fundamentally unsafe and should be avoided if other de-escalation means are accessible.
The last policy concerns the accessibility of police departments to military equipment. The research shows that the usage of such weapons has a direct correlation to the total amount of killings committed by officers (Woodward & Mark, 2020). In the vast majority of cases, military-level weapons, such as armored vehicles or semi-automatic rifles, are unnecessary to resolve conflicts and only contribute to the militarization of organizational culture.
The presented policies address two primary issues – the cultural/racial bias and the prevalence of violent approaches. The former emphasizes the non-violent methods to resolve conflicts regardless of the racial or ethical heritage of the suspect. These strategies promote cultural sensitivity and might decrease the overall amount of police brutality. The latter decreases the accessibility of weapons and unsafe methods, such as chokeholds and strangleholds. These policies aim to reduce the amount of police violence by decreasing the militarization level of organizational culture. I believe that a comprehensive feedback system is the most appropriate solution since it is a substantial incentive to reduce the amount of violence and neglect.
Henderson, H. (2020). Meaningful police reform requires accountability and cultural sensitivity. Brookings. Web.
How police use of force policies can help to end police violence. (2021). Use of Force Project. Web.
Police use of force policy analysis. (2016). Campaign Zero. Web.
Woodward, A., & Mark, M. (2020). Research shows there are at least 6 proven ways to reduce police brutality – and 2 strategies that don’t work. Insider. Web.