Lovejoy hosts seminar on impartial policing, seeks to address bias

Lovejoy City Hall

LOVEJOY — Last week, more than 20 community and law enforcement leaders from across Clayton County gathered in Lovejoy to discuss impartial policing.

The two-day seminar on April 17 and 18 was the initiative of Lovejoy City Councilman Tommy Green. Green reached out to Fair and Impartial Policing (FIP), a group that provides data-driven strategies for law enforcement agencies to systematically eliminate bias, to bring the seminar to Clayton County.

The organization offers training based on the science of human bias under the premise that even the best law enforcement officers may be inherently biased, simply because they’re human. The course addressed such topics as how the public and police view biased policing, the social science of human bias, leadership, supervision and accountability, and how to engage diverse communities.

The course was led by Chief Scott Cunningham, PhD, a national instructor for FIP and chief of police in Kennersville, N.C.

Green said he was proud the city of Lovejoy took the lead in the effort.

“The FIP model of convening leaders from law enforcement and the community is an excellent way to facilitate dialogue and to promote a ‘Buck Stops Here’ mentality from the stakeholders,” Green said. “I hope the lessons learned will become viral within their organizations and enhance interactions between law enforcement and the Clayton communities they serve.”

Along with Green, the seminar was attended by Councilwomen Rebekah Wright and Mary Ann Carp of the Lovejoy City Council as well as clergy members, NAACP members, community activists, and several Clayton County law enforcement agencies, including the Lovejoy Police Department.

“By learning the psychology of biased policing, we can emerge from the old adage ‘judging a book by its cover,’ therefore treating each individual equally and fairly,” Interim Police Chief Wayne Woods said.

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