Mayor, CPD Superintendent kick off new cultural awareness training for CPD recruits at DuSable Museum

By TONIA HILL
Staff Writer

New recruits for the Chicago Police Department (CPD) will be required to attend cultural awareness training at the DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 E. 56th Place, according to an announcement made public at the museum on Monday, June 26, by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson.

“This city is committed to supporting our officers and giving them the training they need to succeed at every stage of their careers and a part of that is knowing that Chicago’s diversity is our greatest strength,” Emanuel said in a written statement. “This partnership with DuSable is an important step on our road to reform and rebuilding critical relationships with residents.”

The new training requirement for recruits aims to “strengthen constitutional policing and procedural justice practices, and supports the Department’s efforts to rebuild trust between the community and police,” according to a written statement from the city.

The museum welcomed 56 recruits from the senior class of the CPD Education and Training Division Monday for a tour.

The training for the day included the history of African Americans in Chicago, cultural competency and awareness, procedural justice and implicit bias. Recruits also discussed cultural migrations as well as housing discrimination. Additionally, a Chicago-based youth development arts organization shared real stories of incarcerated youth.

“As we make good on our efforts to implement meaningful reform at CPD, it is important that new recruits understand the diversity of the residents we serve,” Johnson said in a written release. “We also need them to see the strength and resiliency embedded in African American culture, the opportunity for a powerful partnership where it is most needed, built upon trust, respect, and our shared humanity.”

The announcement comes as the city and police department are working to develop policies for reform and to heal its fractured relationship in the communities in which officers serve.

According to a report released in January, the Department of Justice found that CPD officers “engage in a pattern or practice of using force, including deadly force, that is unreasonable. CPD officers’ force practices unnecessarily endanger themselves and others and result in unnecessary and avoidable shootings and other uses of force.”

t.hill@hpherald.com