We wish to applaud a successful training program recently completed in our community. Local law enforcement and community members teamed up to provide diversity and inclusion training to 164 law enforcement officers representing every police department in Centre County. The training was facilitated by the Community Diversity Group, a nonprofit coalition in Centre County.
State College police Chief Tom King initially asked CDG about this opportunity and CDG contracted with a local business, JayWalker Consulting Inc., to provide officers with four, two-hour sessions on “Implicit Bias of Good People.” The sessions were interactive and included small group discussions, which led to a greater understanding of personal perceptions and how they might differ under varying circumstances. The sessions also explored strategies and remedies to deal with implicit bias, and provided examples of how some people may not even be aware of their own unintended biases. Feedback from the officers has been positive.
Law enforcement in today’s world, including here in Centre County, is demanding, complex and, at times, stressful. Inclusion and diversity is just one of many important subjects that members of our police forces pursue through continuing education. We appreciate their willingness to learn about and master wide-ranging and challenging subjects related to their work on behalf of the public. These officers who completed this training are leaders in our broader community effort to ensure that Centre County is a safe, productive and welcoming place for all who live, study and work here. They have our thanks.
David Gray and Tom Fountaine
Gray is senior vice president for finance and business at Penn State, and Fountaine is State College borough manager.