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Amid the growing national spotlight on the relationship between the law enforcement institutions and the communities they serve, one state governor took action to ensure his state’s law enforcement agencies were providing consistent training on best policing practices throughout the state.

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The Problem

“We’d like to have you do a top-down review of our training curriculum and practices as well as how we recruit, hire and promote our offices,” their project lead said. “We want to strengthen, standardize and certify state-wide best practices in these areas as soon as possible.”

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The Solution

Our hand-picked assessment team started by reviewing training manuals, policies, procedures, reports and data provided by all the state’s various law enforcement agencies and training academies. Next, we engaged in 100+ interviews with key stakeholders and dozens of site visits. Finally, we developed an extensive set of recommendations, reinforcing positive practices where we found them and pointing out the most important areas for improvement.

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The Results

Our final report highlighted key findings related to, for example: strategic planning; independent training oversight; minimum training standards for curriculums, lesson plans and proficiency testing; compliance and auditing procedures; implicit bias and data collection to evaluate bias-based policing; communication practices; body-worn camera usage; and establishing a single case management platform with protected access for each agency. According to the project manager: “This was a gratifying engagement because this state’s governor’s administration ‘leaned in’ to this process without reservation. Across these six to eight agencies, morale was high and the many stakeholder groups crucial to long-term training program improvement appeared to bring their very best to our work together. If they address our recommendations as a blueprint, the state could set new national best practices in many of these areas in a short period of time.”

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