We review the present state of research on police training in the United States, highlighting gaps in the literature, and limitations of trainings in use by local policing agencies. We focus on training content relevant to the volatile situations that are at the center of controversy, we evaluate content areas that focus on successfully navigating real-time, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous interactions, and discuss training needs in these areas. We suggest that one common response to the issue of bias—implicit bias training—lacks evidence of efficacy. Accordingly, we recommend alternative training content to address bias and discrimination. Finally, we call attention to potential barriers, including the highly charged political environment and officer resistance, that could limit the effectiveness of new training programs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Corresponding Author Information

Kate M. Den Houter




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