Partnership for Progress address Implicit Bias during Listening Tour
Omar Neal, You Got The Power - CEO shares information with the participants
April 8, 2021
The Partnership for Progress with the Western Wayne County NAACP and the Conference of Western Wayne has continued to hold their Listening Tours amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The fourth session was held virtually last month on March 18th. The relationships with the Police Chiefs, Directors of Public Safety, Mayors, community groups, the religious community and members of civil rights organizations have been tackling many issues that address systemic racism and improving police and community relations.
During the March session, the topic was Recognizing Implicit Bias. Omar Neal, CEO of You Got The Power (www.yougotthepower.com) was the informational speaker. He has trained thousands of police officers on Implicit Bias and other topics. Inkster Police Chief William Riley invested in his department during summer 2020, when he had Mr. Neal train the entire department over a two day period. During that time period, members of the Western Wayne County NAACP met Mr. Neal, and have forged a relationship with him as a coach and mentor. He said, "We all have implicit bias. We bring our life experiences into every situation that we are faced with."
With his help, WWC NAACP developed their plan - Reimaging Public Safety in Western Wayne County. The goal is to ensure all residents have a good quality of life as it relates to public safety. The Public Safety Agenda includes;
1. Increase training to include dealing with people in crisis and understanding implicit bias
2. Improve the diversity of staff to look like the demographics of Wayne County
3. Revise the ticket categories to include all ethnicities to provide accurate data
4. Implement a Community Review Board that deals with Citizens' Complaints and Departmental policies
5. Work towards eliminating Deadly Use of Force Methods
6. Reduce the Driving while Black/Brown stops that deal with poverty issues versus safety
7. Work with the community to implement the Public Safety Agenda
The members of the Conference of Western Wayne have simultaneously been working to improve their departments and preparing their relationships with their communities. Many have had implicit bias training for their officers and are posting their citation data on their websites to improve transparency with the community. A few departments have implemented partnerships with behavioral health organizations to have social workers participate on police calls to handle people that don't need police intervention. This has been catching on throughout the state as people realize that police are not needed for every situation. During the Listening Tour, the moderator, Dacia Price from Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network shared that there is a number to call if you or a family member needs help for a behavioral issue. The number is 1-800-241-4949. The goal is to do an education campaign to share the number so that people will know it like they know the number to call the police - 911.