America is in the midst of a nationwide reckoning with police brutality and other injustices that have been carried out at the hands of law enforcement.
“It’s not training alone. You have to go back to the hiring process. You have to have the discussion about implicit bias.” — Chief Tony Holt, Wayne State
Nationwide protests have accompanied calls to action, like reform and defunding the police. Wayne State University’s recently announced it’s own answer to meet the moment, a new National De-Escalation Training Center.
Listen: Wayne State University Police Chief Tony Holt on the role of law enforcement.
“This is not a reaction to what happened in Minneapolis,” Holt says. ”This was in the works a year, two years before that.”
He adds that while training is a key component in combating police brutality, hiring is another essential part of the equation. “It’s not training alone. I think you have to go back to the very beginning. You have to go back to the hiring process. You have to have the discussion about implicit bias.”
In response to the growing calls to defund the police, Holt says its time to come to the table and take an in-depth look at how police departments function. He says that especially when it comes to calls involving a mental health crisis, professionals outside the police force could be very helpful.