MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) -- The current class of Connecticut State Police recruits, 84 of them, is one of the largest and most diverse.
They are also being trained on diversity, and while it isn’t something new, it’s particularly relevant following recent national conversations.
“They are dedicated professionals, from all walks of life, that are sacrificing to serve the state of Connecticut and the citizens, and they’re excited to do so,” said Connecticut State Police Academy Commanding Officer Lt. Eric Murray.
Before the recruits graduate next month, they’re getting diversity training.
It’s part of the recruit training curriculum and focuses on areas like implicit bias, community relations, and procedural justice.
“My expectation from this group is to create an uncomfortable learning environment so that they can learn and grow,” Murray said.
This type of training is not new, but state police want to help bridge the gap between some communities and law enforcement, especially following recent events across the nation.
Chief Justice Richard Robinson said this kind of training is necessary and starts important conversations.
“I’m here to help with the training today because I think we are reaching a critical point in America, and we can either move forward or we can go back to the way things were. The way things were, weren’t working, and let’s be honest about that. People are losing trust in their government,” Robinson said.
Connecticut State Police teamed up with two organizations, the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence, and the group Dedication to Community.
“This is all about relationships. We’re not here to teach them to be better tactical troopers. We’re here to teach them the significance of building substantive, successful and sustainable relationships,” said M. Quentin Williams, founder and CEO of Dedication to Community.
Connecticut State Police said it’s important that recruits have this training in the early stages of their careers.
Diversity training will continue this fall for other members of Connecticut State Police. Several community organizations are helping offset the cost of the training.
Connecticut State Police is looking for more recruits, and anyone interested in learning more can click here.