4 police agencies on their diversity efforts

A Diversity Roundtable subcommittee asked police agencies in Lafayette, Purdue, West Lafayette and Tippecanoe County about their diveristy efforts, and here's what they found:
What agency or individual offers diversity training to your officers?

  • LPD: The training officer at LAPD has a background in cultural anthropology and conducts diversity training for the department. In addition, James Foster, diversity consultant from the community, also did training in 2009.
  • PUPD: In the past, training has been provided by the Indiana Law Enforcement Association consultants, also a consultant from Dr. Taylor’s office (Division of Diversity and Inclusion at Purdue). Currently the department is using PoliceOne Academy (on line videos) for training re: diversity, using a train-the-trainer approach.
  • TCSD: Training has been conducted by local diversity consultants James Foster and Willie Cruz.
  • WLPD: Sana Booker, local diversity consultant, recently offered cultural communication training to officers. A training on student diversity will be offered by a consultant from the Office of International Students and Scholars later this year.

What diverse populations are covered in the training?

  • LPD: The training officer has covered ethnic minorities (Asians, Latinos/as, African Americans) in the training.
  • PUPD: Various cultures and ethnicities are covered during training. We are considering offering a training re: the LGBTQ population.
  • TCSD: The focus is on minority populations. When Willie Cruz did the training, he focused on Latinos/as and when James Foster did it there was a focus on African Americans.
  • WLPD: WLPD has requested the consultant who is doing training this year to cover as many minority groups as possible.

What is the length of time of the training?

  • LPD: Typically one half to one hour.
  • PUPD: One to two hours.
  • TCSD: Two hours.
  • WLPD: Two hours for each training session (cultural communication and student diversity).

Describe the components of the training., Does it include lectures, videos, role playing, case studies, other forms of information delivery?

  • LPD: Lecture, video and illustrations.
  • PUPD: Lecture, video, role playing, and Q&A.
  • TCSD: Lecture, power point, case studies, and Q&A.
  • WLPD: Cultural Communication training is for small groups, includes role play, discussion and
    Q&A; Student Diversity training includes a presentation followed by Q&A.

Is training mandatory? voluntary?

  • LPD: Diversity training is mandatory.
  • PUPD: Diversity training is mandatory.
  • TCSD: Diversity training is mandatory.
  • WLPD: Diversity training is mandatory.

In addition, departments offer mandatory training about individuals with mental illness and voluntary training about special populations (for example individuals with medical problems- autism, Alzheimer disease) and specific age groups such as teens and the elderly.

How often is training offered?

  • LPD: Diversity and cultural awareness training is offered every other year.
  • PUPD: Typically once a year.
  • TCSD: In the past, training was held once a year; in the future it will be held twice a year.
  • WLPD: Both types of training (cultural awareness, student diversity) are offered once a year.

How long has your department been offering training by this individual or agency?

  • LPD: At least five years if not longer.
  • PUPD: It has been offered every year during the last 19 years.
  • TCSD: We have had joint training with WLPD for several years.
  • WLPD: Both sessions (cultural communication and student diversity) are new this year and the facilitator is also new. The same consultant was used during the past five years; and it was decided to make a change.

Do you have any data to indicate the effectiveness of the training?

  • LPD: No.
  • PUPD: Citizen complaints.
  • TCSD: The only way we have to measure effectiveness is to document complaints.
  • WLPD: Citizen complaints; body worn camera.