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2021 MCJA Mandatory: Implicit Human Bias

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Instructional Goal:

Maine Law enforcement officers live and work in multicultural communities and must be able to effectively interact with all kinds of people.  Officers must be prepared and willing to proactively become aware of cultural differences, in order to support positive communications and effective policing.  Officers must also be prepared to examine their own personal biases and prejudices so that they do not result in discriminatory behaviors.  Officers are bound by law enforcement ethics, professionalism, and civil rights law, to conduct their duties in a fair and impartial manner.  Part I of this class familiarizes students with Implicit Human Biases.

Part II of this class addresses bias-based policing.  Bias-based policing refers to any law enforcement-initiated action, including a stop, pat down, arrest, etc., that relies upon the selection of individuals based solely on a common trait or group (Stereotyping).  This includes, but is not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, or any other identifiable group.  This broad definition includes racial and other profiling.  Officers are bound by the Fourth Amendment, policy, and ethics to avoid bias-based policing.  Officers can avoid concerns regarding bias-based policing by utilizing the standards of reasonable, articulable suspicion and probable cause in taking law enforcement-initiated action.

Performance Objectives

At the end of this unit of instruction, the student will be able to accomplish the following objectives as outlined in the lesson:

1. Define Implicit Bias. 

2. Identify 6 of the 8 benefits of bias awareness to officers, law enforcement agencies, and communities. 

3. Explain the term “association science”.

4. Identify 2 of the 3 forms of potential impacts of stereotyping and implicit biased policing.

5. Identify the strategies to override our implicit biases.

6. Identify 5 of the 7 strategies officers can employ to improve law enforcement in multicultural communities.

7. Identify 5 of the 7 terms related to types of residents in a multicultural community.

8. Identify the context of culture for multiple specific cultural groups.

9. Define bias-based policing, including racial and other profiling.

10. Identify practical ways for law enforcement officers to avoid bias-based policing including racial and other profiling.

11. Identify proper Fourth Amendment language justifying law enforcement-initiated actions.

12. Identify the range of potential consequences of bias-based policing.

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