Part of me has been itching to write about this and another part wants to stay away with my eyes closed...

A few weeks ago, an off-duty NYPD officer was shot and killed by another NYPD officer. One of these men is black and the other is white -- I'll leave you to guess which is which.

There was the typical outrage that comes from one of these incidents and all the debate and discussion about whether or not race is a factor, but that's not really the (only) thing I'm peeved about in this case. Really, I'm just starting to get incredibly annoyed at how the NYPD is handling this.

It's easy to see why the NYPD would become defensive about this. Every police officer is an individual and they surely can't be responsible for what every individual does. It's difficult to counteract the cop culture to really turn around the number of incidents like this. And, of course, they keep our streets and people safe. Usually. Most of the time. I get all of that.

The NYPD decided the best way to deal with this was by plugging some cultural understanding into their training this past week. Which would be all well and good except for all the freaking pomp and circumstance that surrounded it! I was watching the news coverage about it the morning of the event and was disturbed by what a huge deal it was becoming. I think even the anchors themselves expressed how strange it all was and how over-the-top it seemed.

The problem is that when you have to much on such a show for something so important, how can you expect the people you're training to take it seriously? Sensitivity/diversity training simply does not work if the people you're training don't think it's actually important to the organization - in this case, the NYPD. How can such a spectacle be taken as a sincere concern to improve race relations and not just a temporary fix to a long-standing problem?

So what must these soon-to-be cops be thinking? Call me a cynic, but methinks their reaction is "oh great, now because some other cops messed up, they're making us sit through this so it looks like they're doing something." And, actually, go ahead and call me a cynic because this is the NYPD after all, and they're probably just as cynical as I am!

But seriously though, it's not that I wish the NYPD had instead sat around with their thumbs up their butts or something. It's just that until we see more sustained training that uses a range of methods and really seems to work, I can't buy into this show they're putting on. Because really, telling people on the marquee at the Apollo in Harlem that you're trying to build community trust doesn't actually do anything to gain that trust. Just saying.

1 comments:

At Sat Sep 01, 04:59:00 AM Laura diaz latina said...

The news anchor needs to be able to think on his feet. While many anchors will read scripts off of a teleprompter or notes on their desk information can also be transmitted aurally. If news is breaking information may be fed to an anchor on the spur of the moment from a producer. The anchor needs to be able to listen to what’s happening and then relay the information to the audience in a clear and concise manner. Thanks.

 

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