NWTC class to help police officers focus on community policing, rebuild trust

The class will add to training officers received in recruit school
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 8:25 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Officers across Northeast Wisconsin are taking part in a new class this summer, created in the wake of nationwide riots following the death of George Floyd.

It focuses on rebuilding trust in all communities.

”Community policing is big,” says Jason Weber, public safety training coordinator at NWTC. “And it pays dividends in times that we’re facing now.”

You’ve likely heard of community policing -- the idea of getting officers into neighborhoods, out of squad cars and meeting people, building relationships and trust.

The concept has been around for years, but a new eight-hour class created at NWTC called Cultural Competency reinforces its importance and encourages every officer on every shift to focus on it.

”Start talking to people. You start attending the neighborhood watch gatherings, cookouts, the whatnot. People see one another as people, as human,” says Weber. “You have those relationships. The community has that trust.”

Weber, who’s also a retired officer, says this advances a conversation many agencies have already been having about opening communication and understanding the diverse backgrounds in all our communities.

”(The instructor’s) plan is to bring in several different people to speak about their experiences and their culture and their life. He has officers break up into groups. Let’s talk about your experiences. Let’s talk about your background, your cultural stuff,” explains Weber.

The class adds to training officers received in recruit school, but Weber says there’s been high interest from a lot of agencies to hear it again.

Some, like De Pere, are choosing to put their entire police department through a class.

The police chief says it’s important to understand each other’s differences and be willing to talk about them more openly than we probably do.

”The more we can learn from everyone, the more we can understand, the better we can all become,” adds Weber.

The first class is being offered at NWTC Monday, July 13th, with more classes scheduled in the months to come.

Anyone interested in attending or who wants more information can call 920-498-7175.

Click here for more details about the class.

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