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Results from an effectiveness evaluation of anti-bias training on police behavior and public perceptions of discrimination

NCJ Number
Policing: An International Journal Volume: 46 Issue: 5/6 Dated: 2023 Pages: 831-845
Date Published
15 pages

This paper reports on an impact evaluation of an anti-bias training intervention, performed at a diverse municipal police agency, on police-community interactions and public perceptions of discrimination.


The authors evaluated the impact of an anti-bias training intervention for improving police behavior during interactions with community members and public perceptions of discrimination. Their research design and methodology involved 50 patrol officers from a diverse municipal agency who were randomly selected to participate in an anti-bias intervention. Before and after the intervention, a random selection of Body Worn Camera (BWC) videos from the intervention group as well as from a control group of officers was coded using a validated tool for coding police “performance” during interactions with the public. Discrimination-based community member complaints were also collected before and after the intervention for treatment and control group officers. The authors found that the treatment group had a small but significant increase in performance scores compared to control group officers. They also had a small but significantly reduced number of discrimination-based complaints compared to control group officers. These results suggest that anti-bias training could have an impact on officer behaviors during interactions with the public, and perceptions of discrimination. Although these results are from a single municipal police department, this is the first study to suggest that anti-bias trainings may have a positive behavioral impact on police officers as well as the first to illustrate the potential for their impact on community members' perceptions of biased treatment by officers. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2023