COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A group of Muscogee County Sheriff's deputies recently underwent some specialized training, but it didn't involve marksmanship, high-speed chases or any of the normal police tactics.
It was specialized training, designed to help officers identify known and unknown biases they might bring to the job and increase their awareness of how those biases could prevent fair policing.
The program was a two-and-a half day training session called Fair and Impartial Policing and we think that's a great idea.
Marshal Greg Countryman challenged the officers to adopt a 21st century mindset about policing and look at themselves for clues to any hidden biases.
With all the tension on the national scene involving some police departments, and with high profile shootings and protests in some communities, we applaud Muscogee County Sheriffs for confronting the issue of potential personal bias in policing and how to attain more impartial attitudes on the job.
Police officers, city, county and state all deserve our respect for the very hard work they do every day. But complaints are inevitable. It is impossible to make everyone happy.
However, when officers take the time to really examine how they view their approach to their job: the dangers, the joy, the public service and the stress, they are much more likely to think twice about whether they are being fair on the streets.
We support the Muscogee County Sheriff's Deputies for confronting such a complicated and emotional issue as bias and having the strength and good sense to realize fair policing is much more effective than the alternative.
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