Lexington Police Attend Trainings on Race Relations and Fair & Impartial Police; Review of Police Department Policies & Practices Final Report

Lt. Dunbar and Officer Severe teaching

Race Relations Immersive Training

Last week, the Police Department sent 25% of our sworn officers to Race Relations Immersive Training hosted by the Municipal Police Training Committee, and conducted by Bubbles and Bridges, a Diversity, Equity and Sustainability company.

This new training offers an inclusive overview of race relations that unpacks the past, present, and future. RRI provides officers with bridge-building tools for the communities they serve, and encourages common understanding. Officers completing the training left with applicable bridge building skills to improve the impacts their identity, surroundings and agency have on how they engage with individuals who differ in race.

Officers who attended spoke very highly of the training. The goal of the department is to send 100% of sworn officers as the training becomes available.

"Train the Trainer" Course on Fair and Impartial Policing (FIP)

On May 26, Lt. Colleen Dunbar and Officer Christiana Severe successfully completed the Train the Trainer course for Fair and Impartial Policing (FIP) hosted by the Municipal Police Training Committee. 

With the successful completion of the course, they will be able to teach members of the Lexington Police Department the most updated information and best practices on FIP and allow them to instruct in police academies and other departments as needed. 

Those completing the course will be able to:

  • Understand the social-psychological research on implicit bias and its implications for both patrol officers’ and first line supervisors’ actions;
  • Discuss the impact of biased policing on community members and the law enforcement organization;
  • Discuss the knowledge and skills that patrol officers and supervisors need to promote fair and impartial policing; and
  • Demonstrate proficiency in using appropriate adult learning methods to support the training objectives and effectively present and debrief problem-based scenarios.

Review of Police Department Policies and Practices Final Report Now Available

After an extensive review of the Lexington Police Department’s (LPD) policies and practices, Town Counsel (Anderson Kreiger, LLP) has submitted their final report to the Select Board.  Carmen Ortiz, former US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, took the lead on this work.

Following the national dialog on issues of social and racial equity in the summer of 2020, the Town Manager began a formal process of examining the Town’s policies, procedures, and practices as they relate to municipal operations, beginning with the Police Department. The intent of this review was to identify any unintended bias or discriminatory language in LPD policies and procedures and to make recommendations to the Town Manager.

View the full report

The review of LPD’s policies and procedures included:

  • Internal review, which involved interviews with officers and a review of existing policies and data
  • Meetings with a number of community groups
  • Best practices analysis, including a comparison of LPD’s policies to those of police departments in comparable communities. The goal of the analysis was to identify productive changes that would further promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Department.

The report outlines a number of recommended policy changes:

  • Clarify the goals and mission of LPD
  • Reaffirm commitment to impartial policing
  • Reform process for submitting complaints
  • Implement a research and planning policy
  • Improve recruitment and selection process
  • Improve how promotions are handled
  • Strengthen community relations and working with immigrant communities

Next Steps

Moving forward, Town Manager Jim Malloy will be working with Interim Police Chief Mike McLean to develop an implementation plan based on this report.