Today, all Columbia Police Department supervisors, both sworn and civilian, are participating in the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) sponsored Procedural Justice for Law Enforcement Agencies: Organizational Change through Decision Making and Policy training.
In January, the Columbia Police Department made a request of the Center for Public Safety and Justice (CPSJ) to be selected for the training. The course was developed about a year ago by CPSJ at the University of Illinois, with support from the United States Department of Justice (US DOJ) and COPS through the Community Policing Development Program. With being the only US DOJ recognized and grant-funded training curriculum of this nature, only 66 agencies nationwide are selected. CPD went through an extensive interview and requirement process prior to being a selected agency.
Procedural justice focuses on the way law enforcement and other legal authorities interact with the public. It is based on four central pillars-Fairness, Voice, Transparency, and Impartiality. This in turn benefits community policing principles including partnerships, problem solving, and organizational transformation.
Upon supervisors' completion of this course, they will begin implementing best practices from the training with the units they supervise. All sworn officers are expected to then participate in this training at a later date.
The Columbia Police Department consistently pursues opportunities in training and application to improve community relations and officer safety.