A Low-Trust Environment
Today’s public safety organizations operate in a complex and challenging environment while interacting with an often skeptical and untrusting public. Heightened scrutiny surrounding the use of force, demands for greater access to internal policies and procedures, and the public’s perception of biased police action—often fueled by incomplete or sensationalized media accounts—have all contributed to the creation of a low-trust environment between officers and the communities they serve. Where do we go from here?
Call to Action
Responding to these dynamics, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) recently introduced The IACP Trust Building Campaign so that “police leaders can demonstrate their commitment to enhancing trust between their agencies and the communities they serve.” The campaign invites public safety agencies to implement a set of policies, practices, and training initiatives focused on the following six areas:
- Bias-Free Policing
- Use of Force
- Leadership and Culture
- Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention
- Victim Services
- Community Relations
The program is “designed to encourage positive partnerships between communities and the police that promote safe, effective interactions, create strategies to prevent and reduce crime, and to improve the well-being and quality of life for all.”
Translating Goals Into Results
President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “My life has been largely spent in affairs that required organization. But organization itself, necessary as it is, is never sufficient to win a battle.” How does an organization take a crafted campaign initiative, composed of 25 separate policy, practice, and training initiatives, and turn it into a set of tangible results? At MILO, we can help.
MILO (Multiple Integrated Learning Objectives)
MILO is a world-leading provider of interactive simulation training, curriculum, range design, and equipment. We are widely regarded as the nation’s fastest-growing manufacturer of best-in-class use-of-force training systems. Designed as an instructor-led teaching method, agencies can use the simulator to teach, test, and provide performance feedback to officers in areas of high organizational priority. In a low-stakes, psychologically safe setting, participants feel free to share their lack of knowledge, individual concerns, or areas of confusion that they might otherwise avoid disclosing. Learners in this setting understand that feedback is an expected component of the learning process. It puts people in the right mindset to learn.
MILO specializes in providing virtual simulator training systems that address many of the initiatives required to complete the IACP Trust Building Campaign Pledge. Using a MILO Range simulator to integrate with and reinforce organizational policies and training can enhance your organization’s ability to translate policy goals into officer performance. Let’s take a look at a requirement in each of the six categories and explore how using a MILO Range can help your organization achieve its goals.
IACP’s Bias-Free Policing white paper reports, “For years, law enforcement professionals have faced racial profiling or biased policing accusations. Social psychological research has facilitated the understanding of bias and prejudice, thereby helping law enforcement leaders design interventions to produce bias-free policing.”
Trust Campaign Pledge: Provide officers with training and coaching on cultural responsivity.
MILO: With over a decade of DOJ grant-funded research, MILO is the exclusive provider of the award-winning Counter Bias Training Simulation (CBTSim™). With a combination of evidence-based curriculum and the immersive power of MILO technology, officers are presented with a diverse range of scenarios in which they are required to interact, de-escalate, make split-second decisions, and then identify why they made those decisions. The goal of CBTSim is for officers to treat citizens fairly and without bias, and to make any use-of-force decisions based on threat cues alone, and not on citizen characteristics like demographics or socioeconomic status.
Use of Force
Trust Campaign Pledge: Provide regular training on the agency’s use-of-force policy. Training should include scenario-based exercises that incorporate de-escalation techniques.
MILO: Use-of-force training is about more than choosing which force option to use. MILO provides officers with opportunities to explore all of the tools at their disposal. MILO’s high-definition ‘human-interaction’ training scenarios offer full emotional immersion. The branching decision trees are controlled by the instructor, who can dynamically shift the trajectory of the interaction. Multiple police officers or trainees can participate in any of the interactive scenario-based exercises, which can also be run in interactive low-light/flashlight conditions. Every exercise includes integrated software tools for after-action decision analysis and replay.
Leadership and Culture
Trust Campaign Pledge: Ensure training and policy reflect a culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accountability and promote procedural justice for community members and employees alike.
MILO: MILO simulators contain a broad range of scenarios with demographics that accurately match our citizenry. Demographic metadata is tagged within our software to provide a comprehensive catalog for metrics such as these and to further serve as a tool for agencies to create tailored training programs and meet the specific needs of their communities. MILO remains aware of the metadata within our library and will make a concerted effort to stay aligned with and continuously move closer to the nation’s demographics. Acknowledging that this will remain a moving target as population and crime statistics change, forward progress remains our goal.
Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention
Trust Campaign Pledge: Provide officers with the opportunity for advanced education and training opportunities.
MILO: Officers vary in their level of expertise for every task. These learners should train differently in every context because their development paths differ. In addition to realistic scenarios with branching decision-making capability, MILO instructional methods include individualizing officer training and feedback using levels of proficiency ranging from novice to expert and evaluation rubrics that provide measurable, observable levels of performance at each level of proficiency.
Trust Campaign Pledge: Train officers on best practices, resources, and tools for communicating with community members who do not speak English or whose ability to communicate is impaired.
MILO: Community policing in the modern era demands emotionally intelligent and resilient officers. MILO training simulators improve awareness and responsiveness, helping agencies build bridges over treacherous terrain. Scenario content includes contact with different ethnic and cultural groups and the ability to film and edit geo-specific content to test and improve cross-cultural communications.
Trust Campaign Pledge: Educate communities on the dynamics of policing and set reasonable expectations for their police.
MILO: MILO Range simulator demonstrations are an effective way to engage with, educate, and learn from the community on a range of mutually prioritized issues, creating a dialogue, receiving and providing feedback, and creating shared expectations. Engage in two-way conversations about the MILO training your agency conducts. When participants engage, solicit their experiences, and be honest about your own. The MILO Range training room is a simulated environment where potential liabilities can be exposed, discussed, and mitigated.
For more information on the IACP Trust Building Campaign, or how MILO can help your organization fulfill its campaign pledge, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To join the Trust Building Campaign, click here.