Racial-Bias Training For Police Is Booming; How Much Good Does It Do?


Police departments are conducting anti-bias training for officers. The Justice Department encourages it, but for many cops the training doesn’t seem effective or necessary, reports NPR. Criminologist Lorie Fridell runs a business giving these seminars to police departments, and business is booming. “The demand for Fair and Impartial Policing started to increase in 2013, really on a geometric trajectory in 2014, and then with Ferguson, absolutely, we’re getting a lot more requests,” she says.

Researcher Joshua Correll of the University of Colorado says, “The pattern of bias is very robust and very prevalent. People are much more likely to shoot a black target than a white target, regardless of what he’s holding, and they’re much faster to shoot an armed black target than they are to shoot an armed white target.” Still, he says, “There are a number of very compelling studies that show that if you just ask somebody to try really hard to not show racial bias, you can actually inadvertently increase racial bias.”


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