Race Matters, Friends discusses the importance of police education
COLUMBIA - Rachel Brekhus, a member of Race Matters, Friends, spoke at the Columbia City Council meeting regarding the Columbia Police Department's training.
She said the police department has made some progress but there are still many changes to be made.
In May 2015, the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing released a set of pillars stating changes that need to be made in police departments across the US.
In July 2015, the Columbia Police Department released their own implementation plan based on the President's Task Force's pillars.
Brekhus came to the meeting to speak on pillar five of the plan, which deals with police education.
She emphasized the importance of scenerio-based training, specifically for dealing with issues of diversity and sexual harassment.
"When you go through a scenario mentally and act it out, it can really help you make the right decision when one is thrown at you, when you don't really have time to think," Brekhus said.
According to Brekhus, the police department is committed to offering this type of training.
She thinks that the police have done really well by offering crisis intervention trainging in the past seven years.
"Since the training has started, that has saved at least one life of somebody who got talked down from a possible suicide," Brekhus said.
She thinks the most important thing for the police to realize is the importance of mutual respect between the police and the community.