Last month, the San Marcos Police Department reinforced its commitment to safety, accountability and community engagement by attending a Racial Intelligence Training and Engagement (RITE) class hosted by the Austin ISD Police Department. The nationally recognized training teaches strategies to help maintain a bias-free workplace and build community trust.
“We firmly believe in continuous improvement,” said Chief Stan Standridge. “Our involvement in this RITE training course is just the latest example of our efforts to serve our community with respect and professionalism.”
RITE’s courses were developed by retired law enforcement officer Linda Webb and trainer Randy Friedman. Using their experience and years’ worth of research, they developed a program for public servants focused on emotional and social intelligence.
“Friedman and Webb recognize that an officer must be physically and mentally well to uphold their oath to the community,” said Corporal Poorboy, who attended the training on behalf of SMPD. “An officer cannot expect to care for others if they are not caring for themselves. Learning self-awareness and accountability tools improves officers’ reactions and responses on and off the job.”
The training program is built of modules that cover different aspects of emotional and social intelligence, including situational awareness, empathetic communication, and conflict management.
“RITE teaches officers to treat everyone fairly by looking inward before looking outward,” Poorboy said. “Officers are encouraged to dig deep, recognize trauma, and find healthy outlets to improve their service to the community.”
At its core, the training program underscores the relationship between emotions and behaviors. Recognizing the link between the two factors helps lead officers to practice better de-escalation techniques and build community trust.
“The program was designed for public servants, but it can benefit the entire community,” said Poorboy. “I am excited to share what I learned with others in the department and show our residents in San Marcos that we are continuously working to strengthen our relationship with them.”
The RITE program has been presented to law enforcement across the country, including officers from police departments in Richmond, TX, Chicago, IL, and Fort Lauderdale, FL.
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