Maple Grove Police Talk Implicit Bias with Community
The Maple Grove Police Department tried something on Tuesday night it has never done before. The department invited community leaders to discuss a delicate topic — one’s own biases.
Maple Grove police recently underwent training on understanding biases, from the rank and file all the way up to supervisory staff.
On Tuesday night, Maple Grove Police Chief Eric Werner invited a broad section of the community, including faith, business and educational leaders, to learn about the training.
“We all come with biases, and when we say implicit biases, we don’t know what those biases are, so there’s science behind it, understanding it, versus explicit bias where that is the darker side of biases that people may have,” said Werner.
The goal, Werner said, is to build community trust and legitimacy with the police department.
The organization Fair and Impartial Policing conducted the training with Maple Grove police.
“The 800-pound gorilla is race,” said Noble Wray, a retired police chief and executive trainer with Fair and Impartial Policing. “Implicit bias is beyond that. It is about gender, it is about size, it is about age. It is about recognizing from your life experience how may be having an adverse impact on someone based upon your implicit biases.”
The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association funded 40 percent of Maple Grove’s training. Maple Grove has looked at bias training for a number of years, which is now mandated for police by the state, Werner said.
“Our organization has taken it seriously and we’re training it,” said Werner. “Ultimately it will help my officers engage those organizations or the diverse populations in my community in a better way.”
Also See: Newsmakers: A Conversation with Maple Grove Police Chief Eric Werner