About OpenKnowledge@NAU | For NAU Authors

An officer’s perspective: law enforcement and implicit bias training

Shaffstall, Kayla Elaine (2021) An officer’s perspective: law enforcement and implicit bias training. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

[thumbnail of Shaffstall_2021_officers_perspective_law_enforcement_implicit_bias_tra.pdf] Text
Shaffstall_2021_officers_perspective_law_enforcement_implicit_bias_tra.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (924kB) | Request a copy


As the twenty-first century has shown, more specifically, the year 2020, structural racism has been and continues to be deeply embedded in the United States and its various institutions of power. Implicit bias has come to be found as one of the various factors that enables structural racism throughout the United States to continue, especially within the institution of policing. In order to help combat the effects of implicit bias in law enforcement officers, implicit bias trainings were developed. Implicit bias trainings are often “presented as an effective, research-based strategy for guiding people to encounter, reflect on, and ultimately shift their own potential for biased action” (Jackson 2018:47). Although implicit bias trainings have been and continue to be implemented within most police departments across the country, little is known about how law enforcement officers understand, perceive, or interact with them, nor do researchers know law enforcement officers’ personal opinions and attitudes towards them. This research project allowed me to explore the question: how are implicit bias trainings perceived by one precinct of California law enforcement officers? Through an analysis of ten in-depth interviews with California law enforcement officers, I found two main themes. The first was the importance of community. The second was a deeper look into the impact of law enforcement officer training and education. Based on these themes and the sub-themes within them, it seems that implicit bias awareness is still in its infancy at this point in time in the United States and more research is needed to establish its efficacy in dismantling structural racism.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: Implicit bias; Implicit bias training; Law enforcement ; Law enforcement officer; Officer perpsective; Structural racism; Police services for minorities
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Criminology and Criminal Justice
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2022 21:15
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2022 21:15
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5818

Actions (login required)

IR Staff Record View IR Staff Record View


Downloads per month over past year