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Topeka Police learn about bias in cultural diversity class

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) - The Topeka Police Department will police with a new perspective after cultural diversity training on Friday.

Eighty-five officers went to the first session of cultural diversity training.

The officers learned how to identify their biases and also learned how other people's diverse backgrounds affect their views on police officers. 

The training will also be given to those at the academy level.

"The hope there is that we start with the younger people, that are going to be police officers, graduate the police academy in April, that will be coming into the ranks of file," said Topeka Police Department Chief Bill Cochran. "If we can start getting that information to them at the front end of it, then as we expand and grow, then they just develop and become better officers." 

The training also helps officers deal with mental and intellectual disabilities.

"Take a down syndrome person," said Cain Davis. "Many times they do not like people touching them but law enforcement when you don't listen to them, what do they do? They touch you. Well let's find out who is this person's care-keeper because normally they are with someone, let's let that person be the mediator for this, then you de-escalate it." 

According to Chief Cochran, this is the first part in an on-going training process. 


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