Local Police to Address Racial Equity With County Grant
July 16, 2015
County Board Chair: Sharon Corrigan (608) 333-2285
State Department of Justice Award Will Provide Implicit Bias Training
The Dane County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote tonight to accept a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice to provide racial equity and implicit bias training for law enforcement officers. This grant award is well aligned with Dane County’s ongoing efforts to reduce inequities in the criminal justice system.
The grant, in the amount of $22,302, will primarily fund training for the members of the Small Cities Law Enforcement Consortium, (police departments of Sun Prairie, Middleton and Fitchburg). Additionally, it will fund a daylong training session on implicit bias offered to all Dane County law enforcement officers on September 30, 2015 and a follow up Implicit Bias: Train the Trainer workshop in 2016 for ongoing sustainability.
“Racial equity and implicit bias training will help deputies carry out value based duties and serve our community well. This short term gain will be wrapped in our long term commitments to prioritize fair and equitable treatment for all Dane County residents” said Sheriff Dave Mahoney. “We are delighted to host this effort and hope to continue in the future.”
Lastly, the award will enhance communication between our juvenile justice system and local law enforcement—informing both systems of ongoing and impactful efforts. “Racial inequities in criminal justice will not disappear on their own.”. said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan. “I applaud the local law enforcement agencies for taking steps to embed racial equity into their hard work, as well as increasing communication between systems.”
Chief Patrick Anhalt (Sun Prairie), Chief Chuck Foulke (Middleton), and Chief Thomas Blatter (Fitchburg) sum it up this way, “"We appreciate the support that the State and the County have provided on the important issue of bias free and objective policing. Every day our police officers deliver a remarkably high level of policing services to our communities and this training will help us to continue that commitment."
This grant award is a part of an overall commitment to reduce racial disparities in Dane County criminal justice.