DC police training now requires LEOs to visit African-American museum
"The museum includes very honest, and poignant stories of the role that policing played in some of the historical injustices in our country," the chief said
By Police1 Staff
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Police in D.C. are now required to visit an African-American history museum as part of their training.
WTOP reports that the department is partnering with the University of the D.C. Community College and the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History to start a new training program aimed at teaching officers about African-American history in the city.
“I think there are some that would like to ignore that troubling history of law enforcement in our country. But, we believe it’s critically important that it remains a part of our education and understanding. And most importantly, it’s something we can learn from,” Chief Peter Newsham said.
The 10-hour training program led by the college’s history professors will begin with a tour and discussion at the museum. The department plans to have all of its 3,800 sworn officers and 660 civilian members complete the training, which started in January, by the end of the summer, according to CNN.
"The museum includes very honest, and poignant stories of the role that policing played in some of the historical injustices in our country," Newsham said.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said interactions between police and minorities remain a concern and that the program aims to address issues of bias and use of force in police departments.
Professor Bernard Demczuk said officers will start the program at 6 a.m. and will participate in three hours of lectures before touring the museum.
“We also take officers on to a U Street tour where we spend four or five hours in the Shaw community examining police brutality, examining history, examining the black Mecca of America, Washington, D.C. and the black Broadway along U Street; and the officers get a real good sense of D.C. history, D.C. policing and how we here are changing policing in America,” Demczuk said.