The turn of events over the last few years highlighted the adverse consequences of lack of cultural intelligence and beliefs fueled by hate. It is useful more than ever to raise awareness on the concepts of cultural differences and diversity. For an entity that is taking the brunt of the people’s anger over incidents that may be viewed as results of bias or bigotry, it is imperative for the law enforcement field to take proactive steps in understanding the dynamics and components of diversity to better serve their constituents.
Leading the discussion on cultural intelligence is Shawn Williams. Shawn is an assistant professor at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota where he leads the education program for incoming Peace Officers. His law enforcement background includes being a SWAT officer and lead trainer.
Specifics tackled on the webinar include:
- What cultural intelligence is and why it is critical for law enforcement to possess this competency given the nature of their job.
- The four areas where cultural intelligence must exist in the sphere of policing.
- A glimpse into the average path to becoming a police officer, zeroing in on the role of the Police Academy in paving the path to a more culturally aware soon-to-be-officers.
- The problem with the training structure and some of the reasons why it doesn’t seem to work.
- The goal to move beyond compliance in training and actually go into a deeper dive and commitment to the concept of diversity and cultural intelligence.
- Understanding the different pieces of diversity that each of us brings as humans and the outcomes that we are driving for as a result of cultural intelligence.
- Why we must continuously enrich and engage in cultural humility.
- The challenges inundating law enforcement which hinder progress on the diversity front.
- Familiarizing with the different demographic segments of the community law enforcement is serving as part of the effort towards diversity and cultural intelligence education.
- The concept of cultural agility and the importance of empathy when working with people of different cultures and backgrounds.
- Looking into the extrinsic and intrinsic motivations as well as the self-efficacy aspect of awareness in honing cultural intelligence.
- The value in being genuine and constantly scrutinizing our competence in our quest for cultural intelligence.
- The knowledge piece of cultural intelligence that looks into understanding diversity, the different cultures that exist, and the historical context that brought about the current dynamics of these segments vis-à-vis law enforcement.
- The elements that must be present to ensure that cultural intelligence is effective through formal training and education, applying ‘thin-slicing’ in interactions, mindfulness, and constant motivation to learn.
- The need to acknowledge the presence of cultural differences that we may not be aware of initially, but we can learn and enhance.
- Why it is vital for law enforcement to communicate and build relationships with the community they’re serving.
- How implicit bias is addressed through training, and the reasons why it isn’t as impactful as expected.
- The cultural intelligence strategy of planning, recognizing pressing matters related to diversity, and constant self-awareness on what we’re doing to address these at the individual and organizational level.
- The action required from law enforcement based on the motivation, knowledge, and strategies identified.
Questions from the audience were about:
- Law enforcement’s role in addressing elements that perpetuate discrimination.
- Managing the conflict between what is culturally acceptable behavior in communities that are in conflict with the law.
- Training officers in these topics outside the classroom setting.
- What elements diversity encompasses.
- Navigating the ever-changing concept of what is acceptable and what isn’t.
Resources and Handouts
- Focus on Training: Interpersonal Skills Training in Police Academy Curriculum
- Broken Windows: The Police and Neighborhood Safety
- Law Enforcement through the Eyes of a Citizen
- Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking
- “This webinar was outstanding. It promotes important conversations.” — Detective
- “Dr. Williams was very engaging! Really enjoyed learning about CQ. Additionally, all of the resources provided in the chatbox look very interesting, and I will be looking into all of them. It was one of the best webinars I’ve attended!” — Alissa
- “Excellent! The entire presentation was outstanding. I look forward to integrating the knowledge obtained to enhance CJR and law enforcement engagement throughout our state.” — Asia
- “Understanding the importance of knowing more about our community. I also think that preparing officers more before providing bias training would help with actually getting more out of them with the training. Overall I think this was a valuable training and all officers should have to attend a seminar regarding this topic.” — Karmen
- “I really liked how h didn’t blame the police but offered thought-provoking solutions.”– Genny