New Police Officer Training Program Grant
Kent State’s Basic Police Officer Training Academy has received a grant to fund a program to increase the competency of cadets as well as to develop their communication skills during interactions with Black community members.
The grant for $49,642 from the Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF) will fund the first year of a multi-year project in which community forums will be held to evaluate and change existing police training in areas related to diversity and equity through the Kent State Basic Police Officer Training Academy, a regional training provider for the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA). The new project will be called "Leveraging Community Voices to Advance Racial Equity in Police Training."
The Ohio State Bar Foundation’s funding will allow Kent State to do timely work to address racial inequities by working directly with the Kent State Police Academy. The Kent State University Basic Peace Officer Training Academy offers training for those interested in pursuing a career as a police officer or corrections officer. Students in Northeast Ohio can attend courses at either the Kent or Trumbull Campus. The OSBF funding will support community dialogues that will guide training experiences as well as research into the impact of curricular changes on the university’s police academy cadets.
The project will amplify the voices of civilians, specifically leaders in the Black community, to address racial disparities in policing. The project will utilize the knowledge and experiences of African American citizens to examine the current police academy curriculum and then advance curriculum in police training that could potentially impact police practices and procedures, thereby reducing disproportionate violence and over-surveillance of members of the Black community.