Does Counterror Training to Local Police Sterotype Muslims?


NPR quotes a new report from the Boston-based Political Research Associates on companies that provide counterterrorism training to law enforcement officials as finding stereotyping of Muslims in courses where attendance is federally funded. “It has been a real challenge to link DHS grant money to these trainings,” said Thom Cincotta, the report’s author. “We know that taxpayer money is facilitating attendance of public servants at these conferences. For instance we’ll see municipalities cutting checks for $1,100 for one officer to attend a conference or a seminar.”

Low-quality training is a concern because going forward local cops are going to be taking a bigger role in the fight against terrorism. The Department of Justice has a new initiative that will take local tips and feed them into a broader database. The idea is to give law enforcement a more systematic way to follow up on new terrorism leads. In one case cited from Columbus, Ohio, a scheduled two-day course was stopped after one day because “we found the information being relayed was not accurate,” said police official Richard Bash. “They made some very blanket statements about who might be involved in terrorist activity. These individuals tried to make the other officers attending the class believe it was a very simple profile to follow and in reality it is not.”

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