As part of its continued effort to improve police community relations, the Michigan State University Police Department has formed an Inclusion and Anti-Bias Unit, committed to proactively addressing police and community-related issues associated with bias.
The unit, one of the first of its kind for a university police force, will work in collaboration with all members of the university community to provide internal and external training to raise awareness and help create an inclusive culture on the MSU campus.
“This is an important and innovative step toward MSU achieving our vision of a truly genuine inclusive, world-class university,” President Lou Anna K. Simon said. “Our police department has been at the forefront of our efforts, and the creation of this unit is yet another example of the steps we are taking and our commitment to diversity and better understanding the needs of our students, faculty and staff.”
The new unit is devoted to increasing trust within the university community by listening to concerns and finding positive methods to solve issues. It will build upon the police department’s current relationships with community members where there are language barriers, cultural differences, mistrust or fear that may exist.
“Our goal is two-fold,” Police Chief Jim Dunlap said. “The new unit will provide information to help everyone at MSU better understand the role, responsibilities and actions of police officers. And just as important, members of the unit will work across the department and the university as a whole to ensure our officers can better understand and relate to our community.”
Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor, a 26-veteran of the police force, will lead the unit. Training sessions have been held throughout the department on topics such as implicit bias and micro-aggressions. Upcoming training will include representatives, including students, from across campus as well as neighboring police forces and the state Attorney General’s office.
For more information, or to speak to someone from the unit, call 517-355-2222.