Fair and Impartial Policing Initiative
In 2016 the Chesterfield Police Department hosted a “Train-the-Trainer” course for the nationally recognized “Fair & Impartial Policing (FIP)” comprehensive training program. Four members of the Chesterfield Police Department completed the class and were certified as FIP instructors. Since that time, additional FIP instructors have been trained and the entire department has received this specialized training in fair and impartial policing. Chesterfield FIP instructors have also assisted other agencies in the region by serving as instructors for their FIP training.
The FIP project is directed by Dr. Lorie Fridell of the University of South Florida. The mantra of the core program is “policing based on stereotypes and biases is ineffective, unsafe, and unjust.” The Chesterfield Police Department has been providing its’ officers with various forms of annual sensitivity training, racial and cultural awareness training and racial profiling/anti-bias policing training since its inception as a police agency in 1989. Many of these training sessions included information related to implicit bias, although not specifically identified as such at that time.
Dr. Fridell’s FIP program is much more comprehensive; the training backs up much of the curriculum with scientific research studies. The Department looked at several other programs advertising to provide similar results but this FIP program was hands above all others we researched. Members of the department’s command staff actually attended Dr. Fridell’s 6-hour class, prior to requesting to host the train-the-trainer class, as well as other similar trainings offered to police departments. Many of the other programs focused on placing blame on the police for the all of today’s problems; an approach that tends to “lose” the class from the start. The FIP program does not place blame on anyone, rather it makes officers aware of the implicit bias that exists in all individuals, including the police, and gives officers the tools to overcome these biases.