D.C. police officers will have to take a course on critical race theory and visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture as part of a new training program.
In a report from the Washington Post, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser announced the new training program outside of the African American museum Friday morning. The program was developed through a partnership with D.C. police and the University of the District of Columbia Community College.
“We are committed to accountability, to strengthen the bonds of trust between MPD and our residents,” Bowser said.
Although crime has decreased in D.C. in recent years, there are still negative interactions between officers and black residents, which is why the program was implemented. As a part of the training, officers will have to attend a three-hour lecture on black history; a guided tour through the National Museum of African American History and Culture; and a lesson on U Street, where officers examine police brutality.
“If you’re going to be a police officer in Washington, you need to understand the history of the city, and race is a big part of that,” Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, said.
“People who were supposed to serve and protect had played in the enforcement of discriminatory, racist and unjust policies and laws,” Peter Newsham, D.C.’s police chief, said. “The museum includes very honest and poignant stories of the role that policing played in some of the historical injustices in our country.”
Since January, between 60 and 80 officers have taken the training, with Newsham hoping to have all 3,800 cops and 660 civilian members trained by the end of the year.
Source: Washington Post