Mobile Police officers were among the 300 police personnel that participated in a program called PEACE today at the Mobile Convention Center.
The PEACE program is conducted by third generation police officer Jim Glennon who holds a degree in psychology and a master’s degree in police management.
It was U.S. Attorney Kenyan Brown’s idea to have the seminar in Mobile, one that Mobile Police heavily supported.
Assistant Police Chief Lawrence Battiste told News 5 that after the deadly shooting of Michael Moore and the other incidents around the country that sparked racial tension, it was time for introspection.
“What we did is we took a step back and said what can we do to improve on who we are, and how can we do those things that will let the community know we are constantly searching for things that we can do to do better,” he said.
Brown echoed that sentiment, saying that any further training officers can have is another asset to the department.
“I think any of us in any profession always want to be the best we can be, so this is just one more tool in the officer’s toolbox to help them do their job better.”
Glennon said that implicit bias is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s one to be aware of. And after the seminars, it’s something he often hears police officers reflect upon.
“The thing I hear the most is, ‘I knew I had biases, but I always heard they were bad,’ and here we are saying you may have an implicit bias, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad and what we need to do is recognize it.’
The seminars involved videos and open conversation complete with a diverse panel of police officials to discuss various incidents and the reaction to them.
Glennon also spoke about stressors and how to diffuse situations that might otherwise escalate.
The officers who participate will receive 16 hours of continuing education credit.