The Somerville Police Department has been awarded a grant of $17,283.00 from the US Department of Justice to fund officer training. In accordance with the requirements of the grant, the Police Department is making the project description available to the public for review and comment until December 31, 2021.
City of Somerville, MA - Somerville Police Department
BJA FY2021 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, Local Solicitation
The Somerville Police Department (SPD) will provide training for all sworn officers (115 officers) on procedural justice and implicit bias as part of a concerted multi-year effort to train all sworn officers on these topics as funding allows:
- Crisis Intervention (training already underway)
- Procedural justice (to be funded through the FY21 Byrne-JAG)
- Implicit bias (to be funded through the FY21 Byrne-JAG)
- Review of Use of Force model (upcoming)
- Deployment options for affecting an arrest and Duty to Intervene (upcoming)
- Crowd Management (upcoming)
The 8-hour training on procedural justice and implicit bias will be conducted by a training consultant hired in accordance with all applicable procurement laws. Training will take place in the training room at Police Department Headquarters. It will start in winter 2021/2022 and be completed for all 115 sworn officers by July 1, 2022.
SPD’s objectives for this training are to:
- Increase SPD officer understanding and empathy when working with residents from Somerville’s vulnerable populations
- Open communications, increase trust, and support transparency between SPD officers and residents of color
- Improve SPD’s ability to collaborate with residents in responding to a noted increase in shootings and gun violence in Somerville’s neighborhoods
- Prepare SPD for a new working environment: new Massachusetts Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) requirements call for creation of a statewide database of citizen complaints against police
SPD’s Training Coordinator and the training consultant will work together to document immediate officer responses to the training, including changes in officer perceptions and responses. SPD’s Crime Analyst will collect neighborhood-by-neighborhood impact data relating changes in arrests and incidences of gun violence, other violent crime, and gang activity.