Some local police departments are working on strategies aimed at bridging cultural differences. One of them is Lancaster City Police Department, which is requiring its police force to undergo sensitivity training.
Sensitivity training can mean different things to different people. Lancaster’s focus is to connect with its ethnic community, mostly through clear communications. Among the pillars to support that focus is to be able to understand bilingual individuals.
Through sensitivity training, Lancaster department officials believe their efforts will decrease crime within its jurisdiction. Partnerships is another pillar, in which the department believes by having a presence within its ethnic community, it would provide the department with greater insight that makes the overall community safer.
However, sensitivity training skeptics believe that spending more time and more resources to create empathy and community connections is the wrong approach. The approach could be assumed to only provide a legal veil of protection to prevent future lawsuits against police departments.
Should police officers be required to undergo sensitivity training?