Human Resources Development and Training
Diversity training intervention program — Preliminary training plan
In January 2012, Kenneth Riley was shot and killed in an incident which involved the policemen at the present Police Department. The victim’s son claims that, before being shot, his father had been subjected to verbal abuses, among which the use of the derogatory N-word. The grand jury declared the policemen not guilty, but an investigation is still pending regarding the means in which the incident was managed.
The current document does not seek out to address the death of Mr. Riley nor the guilt of the officers. Still, it gives concern to the issues raised by the community regarding the behavior of the policemen. The taunting of the victim and the verbal abuse to which he was subjected indicate a low level of sensitivity among the police force.
In order to better understand the situation created, as well as to better avoid such incidents in the future, it is necessary for the policemen to become more sensitive and more culturally opened and understanding. In such a setting then, the recent incident has paved the way to diversity training at the Police Department in order to improve the quality of the means in which the policemen approach and treat the population.
2. Preliminary needs assessment
The recent incident has raised some important questions regarding the sensitivity training of the policemen and has given just cause for such training to be integrated in the program of the Police Department. Still, before a training plan can actually be devised and implemented, there is a need to identify and discuss the various needs linked to the diversity training plan. These generically refer to the following:
The structure where the training is required
Conditions of the training program
Teachings to be transmitted throughout the training program
Traits of the trainees, and last
Customization needs of the training programs.
a) Training needs at department structures
The incident with Kenneth Riley took place on the field, generating as such a primary needs to develop and implement diversity training programs on the police officers which operate in the field, with a decreased emphasis on the police officers which occupy desk positions, and do not operate in the field.
In this second category of people with a decreased need for diversity training would be integrated other employees at the Police Department which are not police officers, such as administrative staffs (accountants, human resource specialists, cleaning staffs, public relations and so on). The initial perception then would be that the first category of employees — field officers — would require more intensive training programs.
Nevertheless, the second category of PD employees should not be overlooked either. Regarding them, the training needs are indeed less obvious, yet they do exist. These people also interact with civilians in their quality of PD representatives, and they as such reflect the diversity stance of the overall Police Department. Additionally, aside from representing the PD, the second category of employees comprises an important part of the Department. They continually interact with each other and with the field officers and they directly impact the morale and the culture at the Police Department. Given this issue then, it is important that they also be subjected to diversity training. A difference which could however be made refers to the intensity of the training, in the meaning that the program would focus more extensively on the field officers.
b) Conditions of the training program
The training program would last throughout a duration of 8 working days, out of which the first three days would revolve around theoretical training — or the presentation of the diversity theory — and the remaining five days (a week) would focus on the practical understanding of the diversity training, through the exemplification and acting out of different real life situations, through the lenses of diversity issues.
Other conditions for the training include the following:
Adequate spacing with light, air and space for the training to be properly implemented
The existence of material support for the training, such as television set, DVD player, sound systems, paper, board and so on Organization wide cooperation.
c) Teachings for the trainees
In order to avoid the future recurrence of situations in which the Police Department is accused of insensitivity or inadequate behavior and treatment of the members of the community, but also to perform their jobs in a more efficient manner, the PD employees would be transmitted the following:
Compassion and empathy towards any and all, regardless of gender, race, religion and other such criteria
The objective behavior towards all categories of populations, with the complete elimination of personal bias or cultural, economic, religious or any other form of discrimination
The identification of all and any unethical behavior and the commitment to eliminate it
d) Traits of the trainees
The training program should be developed and implemented in order to comprise all employees at the Police Department, regardless of age, gender or any other demographic characteristics.
e) Customization of training programs
Discrimination is more common among the Caucasian males, who have been a privileged category of people; women and other minorities are less inclined to discriminate against others (Oskamp, 2000). Additionally, another issue that should be considered is that the diversity training would generate some change, and the older and more mature individuals are less opened to change. In other words, the younger employees would be more receptive to the training, whereas the older employees would be more reticent (Homan, 2010). These two traits regarding discrimination and reticence to change would indicate diverse training needs. Nevertheless, the Police Department should not create customized programs, but a single program aimed at supporting diversity in the institution and which represents the institution’s overall commitment to inclusion and diversity. Where additional attention is required, this would be granted through individual counseling.
3. Preliminary design
The design of the training program would be based on the attainment of the pre-established objectives. At this level then, it is necessary to identify the scopes sought out by the Police Department with the implementation of the training program. These refer to the following:
Increasing the sensitivity in the behavior of the PD employees in their relationship with all categories of the population
Eliminating the discriminative behavior in the individual as well as the collective interactions
Recognizing the unethical behavior and taking direct and immediate actions to eliminate it; this objective is hoped to the attained at the level of the individual employees, who would personally intervene to support an ethical behavior
Behaving — at all times and in all circumstances — with the utmost respect for the people around, regardless of their gender, race, socio-economic background or other criteria
Creating a wider culture of equality and respect among individuals.
4. Preliminary training delivery methods
At this initial level, three distinctive methods are identified, as revealed below:
Off the job training
Behavioral methods for training.
on-the-job training represents the effort to transmit the training lessons while the employees are found in the place of employment. The primary means in which on-the-job training is conducted include demonstrations, instructions, job rotations or involvement in projects. The main advantage of this training method is that the employee is placed in the specific situation within the work place, so there is an increased applicability of the lessons learnt. Additionally, since it is conducted in the actual place of employment, it involves less resources and it is more efficient. Nevertheless, the method also reveals some shortages. A first of these limitations is represented by the fact that on-the-job training can cause disruptions in the internal operations, since it is conducted within the institution. Also, it would have to face all the bad habits at the PD and the quality of the results is sometimes questionable (Tutor2U).
Off the job training is implemented in a location different from the actual place of employment. The more common methods of off the job training include the day releases (through which the employees take the day off work to engage in the training program), distance learning, block release courses, sandwich courses or self-study. The main advantages of this method are that the quality of the results is increased, as the commitment is also higher. Additionally, the trainees come to capitalize on the expertise of various specialists and can become more knowledgeable and confident employees. Still, despite these advantages, off the job training is not suitable for diversity efforts at the Police Departments; it is costly and it induces the loss of work (Tutor2U).
Last, the behavioral methods of training include processes such as games and simulations, behavior modeling efforts, business games, case studies, equipment stimulators or role plays (Training and Development). The advantages of this training method are that it can be used in both on-the-job training, as well as off the job training. It is as such flexible and it offers practical experiences to the trainees, which is highly useful within diversity training at the Police Department. The disadvantages nevertheless include an increased complexity of the process, the need to engage increased resources (which are not always know upfront, but can develop throughout the training session), as well as the fact that it disrupts the efficiency of the operations normally conducted by the Police Department.
Oskamp, S., 2000, Reducing prejudice and discrimination, Routledge
Homan, M.S., 2010, Promoting community change: making it happen in the real world, 5th edition, Cengage Learning
Nkomo, S.M., Fotter, M.D., McAfee, R.B., 2010, Human resource management applications, 7th edition, Cengage Learning
People management — types and methods of training at work, Tutor2U, http://tutor2u.net/business/gcse/people_training_types.htmlast accessed on June 6, 2012
Methods of training, Training and Development, http://traininganddevelopment.naukrihub.com/methods-of-training / last accessed on June 6, 2012
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