Department of Public Safety News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2020
The Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission today voted to require that Missouri law enforcement academies begin educating all law enforcement recruits in the history of policing in minority communities in the U.S. The two-hour block of instruction would cover policing from the founding of the nation through the present. The measure was unanimously approved.
“I believe providing this training in the history of policing for Missouri officers can help create a better understanding of some of the underlying reasons for conflict and distrust that can exist between law enforcement and minority communities, and can help create better relations going forward,” said POST Commissioner and Lincoln University Police Chief Gary Hill. Chief Hill was a member of the POST subcommittee that spent the last two months studying the issue.
“This is an important issue and a good addition to our training curriculum that I believe will benefit all of us,” said POST Commissioner and Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak. “The more voices and perspectives that we’re exposed to the greater the potential for trust and reconciliation.” Sheriff Marshak was also a member of the subcommittee that studied the issue.
The two-hour curriculum is currently being developed and will become part of the mandatory basic training curriculum six months after being shared with Missouri’s 20 law enforcement basic training academies. According to state statute, Missouri law enforcement officers must receive at least 600 hours of basic training. The POST commission sets minimum standards for the basic training of peace officers in Missouri.
At its Oct. 5 meeting, the POST commission voted to require annual training in de-escalation techniques and recognizing implicit bias for all Missouri law enforcement officers as part of their required 24-hours of annual continuing education training. At the meeting, the commission also granted preliminary approve of Lincoln University’s proposed law enforcement basic training academy. This morning, Governor Mike Parson and Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten signed the license for the Lincoln University academy, the first in the nation to be granted at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU).
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