MSSU Hosts Q & A Forum with Area Law Enforcement on Community Re - KOAM TV 7

MSSU Hosts Q & A Forum with Area Law Enforcement on Community Relations


Multicultural diversity and how it relates to law enforcement one of several topics touched on today at Missouri Southern State University. A panel of officers answered questions from students and staff on community relations.
 "When someone is edgy because of a past experience and doesn
t want to cooperate, how do respond? " asked Diamond Haywood, a psychology major.  Coming from Chicago, shes anxious dealing with police.  She asked a police panel  at MSSU Thursday  how they deal with citizens after national violence involving officers. Their response stay calm as long as they can stay calm.
Haywood also liked their suggestion. ."When they mentioned the ride along, I
m going to do that because I want to really see how they handle other individuals and everything.  And learn more about their policies and what they do and how they do and why they do it. Maybe that would ease some of my anxiety.

MSSU Chief of police Ken Kennedy explained his force needs to treat students of different cultures differently. "You cant put them on the ground, have them interlace their fingers behind their neck, because thats an execution pose in their country."

The campus police chief said the typical felony arrest directions can be frightening to students from middle eastern countries. He said,
ll have to do something different with them because they just will not do that and it will cause that to escalate where as it doesnt need to."

Kennedy said they screen officers specifically for an understanding of diverse cultures. Diversity training is something that has been increased on the statewide level as well for all law enforcement.
Carl Junction Chief Delmar Haase explained, "We used to have to do three hours every three years and basically doubled that. 
 We want to know how other people perceive the police and how they deal with it."

MSSU Staff member Michael Pyle asked the panel, "What efforts are you taking to find kids where they're at?"
Sheriff Randee Kaiser mentioned DARE, Police Explorer groups, and citizens academies but Pyle says Joplin
s chief is truly on the right track by posting positive interactions on Facebook.
Pyle said, "Even though it was uncomfortable (for police) initially, he understood what it is to go out in the community on social media and to kind of make policing cool.  For better or for worse, that
s what needs to happen." Pyle said agencies should even consider advertising on social media so seeing those positive images isnt based on personal selection of the facebook page.

 At least 3 agencies use body cameras and chiefs said they make a difference in the behavior of both officers and suspects.


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