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New Policing Model Offered To California Law Enforcement

CHP Headquarters in Sacramento was host to one of two training sessions in California for agencies interested in incorporating "principled policing" strategies into their daily operations.


Thursday, representatives of 30 California law enforcement agencies completed the first phase of training designed to help them better serve their communities.

The "Principled Policing" training was conducted in Sacramento and Los Angeles by the Oakland Police Department.  It is designed to teach officers to incorporate the concepts like of "community voice" and "officer neutrality," "respect" and "trustworthiness" into every interaction with the public.

Paul Figueroa is an Assistant Chief of Police in Oakland. He says his officers now go door-to-door after police actions like serving search warrants to tell people why officers were in their neighborhoods and to ask for their opinions.

"It really gives the community a chance to have some say in it and they might have something to offer. They might not have something to offer. But, at least they know what happened and it's not just the police coming in in a non-transparent way,  doing what they're doing, and leaving.

Figueroa says his department took about a year-and-a-half to weave the principles into everything officers do. The department has also held meetings in  communities for officers and people to sort through their biases.

"We know through the research that implicit bias can set in much quicker when we're forced to make decisions very  quickly because we're going through old packets of information in our mind to make decisions."

Figueroa says officers who are respectful -even in the most stressful situations- will see community cooperation increase in the long run.

"This process really focuses on slowing down when you can, giving the person a voice, and that in and of itself can go a long way to reduce how implicit bias may  affect decisions in the long run."

All 800 Oakland officers and 200 Stockton officers received the training earlier this year.

Stanford University will evaluate the program's effectiveness.   

The training is certified by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

The following departments enrolled in the first classes:

  • Berkeley Police Department
  • California Department of Justice
  • California Highway Patrol
  • El Cerrito Police Department
  • Elk Grove Police Department
  • Fremont Police Department
  • Fresno Police Department
  • Indio Police Department
  • Lassen County Sheriff’s Department
  • Long Beach Police Department
  • Los Angeles Airport Police Department
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
  • Los Angeles Police Department
  • Modesto Police Department
  • Newport Beach Police Department
  • Orange County Sheriff’s Department
  • Oxnard Police Department
  • Rancho Cordova Police Department
  • Richmond Police Department
  • Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department
  • Sacramento Police Department
  • San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
  • San Diego County District Attorney’s Office
  • San Diego Police Department
  • San Francisco Police Department
  • San Jose Police Department
  • Simi Valley Police Department
  • Ventura Police Department




Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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