In too many communities, the mutual trust that defines a healthy relationship between the police and the citizens is lacking. There are numerous reasons for this, certainly, but one major factor is the presence of bias – on both sides of the equation.
Changing Perceptions trains officers on the effect of implicit bias and gives them the information and skills they need to reduce and manage their biases. Additionally, by allowing officers to experience the same encounter from two perspectives (officer and possible suspect) simultaneously, this program provides officers an insight into the biases that some members of the community may harbor toward police and why those biases exist.
Approaching a complex topic from all the failure points
Our research helped us identify the types of ambiguous, high pressure situations which too often result in unnecessary conflict or violence. Our program drops officers into those situations and asks them to make the difficult in-moment-decisions. We use simultaneous dual POV to show how the most mundane situations can appear questionable or dangerous to everyone involved – and to demonstrate how easily these situations can unnecessarily escalate if not handled properly.