Kamala Harris announces anti-bias police training

Oakland police are helping to develop a training program on implicit racial bias and procedural justice as part of a California Department of Justice effort to address the current crisis of confidence in law enforcement, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Friday.

The training program, which is being developed with the Stockton Police Departments and Stanford University Professor Jennifer L. Eberhardt, among others, was one of the actions announced following an internal state Department of Justice review of its existing training on the use of force and implicit bias.

It will be certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, according to state officials.

The 90-day review, conducted by the Department of Justice’s Division of Law Enforcement, also developed policies on implicit bias and racial profiling and created a 21st Century Policing Working Group to foster further discussion.

Speaking at an event in Los Angeles, Harris said she hopes the review can be used as a blueprint for police and sheriff’s departments throughout the state to critically examine their existing policies and draft recommendations that are appropriate for the communities they serve.

Speakers at the event cited the success of Oakland’s Operation Ceasefire, a community-based effort to reduce violence and recidivism, as an example for other communities.

As a result of the review, the Department of Justice is adopting bodyworn cameras for all special agents conducting field operations and plans to institute new policies on the technology’s use.

The department is also planning to train all special agents on fair and impartial policing practices and implicit biases by the end of May, officials said.