Require sensitivity training for law enforcement to help end violence and discrimination.

Require sensitivity training for law enforcement to help end violence and discrimination.

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Nicky Rose started this petition to Senator Tim Kaine and

    Racial injustice is evident in Virginia and in the US. No one should be afraid to confer with law enforcement. No one should worry for their lives when they see a police officer approach them or pull them over. No one should worry if the police chose the right house to invade. These are fears that have persisted from the civil rights movement long ago, where people fought for the right to be heard, respected, and treated equally.  There are many factors that hold bearing on those situations such as location, population, societal differences, poverty and environment. Many actions need to be taken to combat all of these.
     I am proposing required sensitivity training as just one action to take us in the right direction. Sensitivity training for all of law enforcement would include everyone from the top of the chain to the bottom, including volunteers. This training isn’t a cure all. It won’t stop the normal prejudices that all people have; it’s human nature. If people know they are inappropriate, it most likely will not change their views and beliefs, however the training may shed light on their actions and enforce change around them. It will at least make them see that when they are in uniform and doing their duties as officers, they have a requirement to treat all people equally and respectfully. If they can’t do that than their supervisors need to ask questions. “Why is that person still employed with us? Are they a risk to our community, our department, or other officers?” These types of people hurt the image and moral integrity of their entire team, and they make it difficult for the community to trust and respect the team as a whole. 
     It would be in the best interest of the departments to have this training as it fosters a positive work environment and accountability; reduces complaints and grievances; increases respect for themselves and others; increases awareness of bias; and improves community relations (Lorman, 2018). It has been shown to increase cultural awareness, open-mindedness, improved attitudes and communication (Majumdar et.al. 2018). This training is not free, and it takes time, but the benefits far outweigh the cost and time required. This training could save a life and increase the respect and trust that is so needed in our communities. 
     Training reform in all aspects is needed and the public demands it. Assessing and enforcing what will and will not be tolerated is needed and demanded. What has been tolerated in the past is no longer an option. Our law enforcement needs to respect themselves and their communities by making every effort to better themselves, listen to what their communities are saying, and ridding themselves of the outliers in their departments that decrease their morals, integrity, and respect. There are great challenges ahead, and a small change in the way law enforcement acts and reacts, can help end this injustice. 

https://www.lorman.com/resources/sensitivity-training-in-the-workplace-why-does-it-matter-16907
  
Majumdar B, Browne G, Roberts J, Carpio B. Effects of cultural sensitivity training on health care provider attitudes and patient outcomes. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2004;36(2):161‐166. doi:10.1111/j.1547-5069.2004.04029.x 
 

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