Press release from College of the Redwoods:

College of the Redwoods is reaching out to constituent groups to invite them to represent the community on the Basic Law Enforcement Academy Advisory Committee, which will enhance CR’s ability to train cadets in a manner that reflects the culture of equity and inclusion that is a cornerstone of CR’s mission.

The process will include discussion and review of current curriculum with an augmented Basic Law Enforcement Academy Advisory Committee comprised of local law enforcement leadership as well as representatives from Native Tribes and Black, LGBTQ, and Latinx interest groups.

“We are going to start by bringing key constituent groups together to review our curriculum and training and suggest areas of improvement,” says College of the Redwoods President Dr. Keith Flamer.

CR’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy currently includes course work that looks at implicit bias, procedural justice, community interaction, crisis intervention, mediation, conflict resolution, appropriate engagement with individuals from different religious affiliations, appropriate engagement with individuals who are differently abled, and de-escalation and minimizing the use of force.

With input from the Advisory Committee, the college will work with the state Commission of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and the CR curriculum committee to supplement the curriculum should they find gaps that may inadvertently lead to racial bias, use of excessive force, or other systemic issues in policing.

“The Board and I recognize that the complexities of modern policing have created an opportunity and responsibility to do more to train our police cadets and first responders in how best to serve our diverse communities and to deal with the myriad expectations that being a police officer requires,” says Flamer.

“It is not sufficient to focus only on the law or on skills such as arrest and control, defensive tactics, driving, and firearms,” he continues. “We have already made it a priority to include implicit bias, procedural justice, community interaction, crisis intervention, and de-escalation in our curriculum.”

Dr. Colleen Mullery, President of the Board of Trustees at CR, supports the review process and says, “The Board of Trustees agrees with Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley when he states: ‘In this moment we need to use our position of privilege, influence and power to make a difference.’”

“The Trustees fully support and applaud President Flamer’s leadership within the community college system to initiate the “Call to Action” urged by Chancellor Oakley through a review of our Law Enforcement Academy’s curriculum.”

The review of academic programming is a routine component of CR’s institutional assessment process, which supports an ongoing evaluation of the institutional mission, goals, and outcomes to encourage continuous improvement in quality and which leads to the ultimate goal of improved student learning.