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very little time pursuing criminals. The Commission said that few departments provide much training for the bulk of the work, including race relations, actually performed by officers.77 This is apparently also true in Omaha.

Currently training of police recruits is an in-house function. The police provide 672 hours of training for the recruits. Of these, two are devoted to handling domestic complaints, three to civil rights laws, five to police-community relations, three to officer stress, three to child abuse, three to spouse abuse and four to handling the mentally ill.78 Thus, a maximum of 23 hours or about four percent of the class time is devoted to the problems officers will encounter in dealing with minorities and women.

Ruth Jackson, director of the city's human relations department, said more human relations training might be useful for the police. About eight or ten years ago her office did the human relations training for the police recruits. But one year, she said, they were not invited back. She believes the human relations training is now done by the division. She feels the training is very necessary because police officers often see only the worst elements of each group and sometimes that only reinforces the prejudices they may have. 79

According to members of the Midwest Guardians, training instructor positions are considered "cushion" jobs and in effect there is no competition for vacancies. 80 According to the union contract which sets out the terms

of employment in the police division, sworn personnel bid on assignments based

on seniority. However, the chief can circumvent the system under special circumstances to make assignments on a case by case basis. The chief of police has the exclusive right to assign the captain and lieutenant of training. 81 Additionally, the organizational chart provided by the police division shows two sergeants in the training section.82 Instructors are police personnel who receive some training at Northwestern University.83

The officers from the Midwest Guardians alleged that because of the consent decree some of the white instructors were passed over for promotions and now take their frustrations out on the black recruits. Ethnic jokes in the classroom were said to be common. There were no black instructors for the

September 1981 class until a black officer was assigned there about halfway

through the training after the Midwest Guardians and the Ministerial Alliance expressed their concern about the number of black recruits who were

failing. 84 The personnel department also played a part in the assignment of a black officer to do the recruit training. In a series of meetings with the mayor, the personnel department urged that the temporary assignment of the black officer be made permanent which it was.85 The officer said he had previously applied for an instructor's position but the application "never got anywhere. 86

Members of the Midwest Guardians said the instructors are evaluated by the students but the officers expressed the opinion that students probably would be reluctant to express their true feelings because they doubt the

confidentiality of the process. The officers would prefer a more independent evaluation process.87 Mr. Troutman stated that the lieutenant in charge of training reviews the evaluations. 88

Members of the Midwest Guardians also believe the tests developed to cover the training material are inappropriate because they are not a true measure of whether students are learning what they should. They believe that under the terms of the consent decree they are entitled to copies of the tests to determine if the questions are appropriate. (Because new tests are written for each class they do not believe there would be a security problem. They want to determine that the questions are correctly written.)89

Mr. Troutman said the city administration was distressed because so many recruits in the September class failed. A tutoring program was established



after the class to help the recruits who failed to improve their study habits and writing skills. A similar tutoring program will be a standard part of the training program beginning with the February 1982 recruit class.90

Participation in the first tutoring program was offered to the recruits in the September class who failed for academic reasons.91 Mr. Troutman stressed that he did not consider the tutoring program for these recruits "special treatment." He said the recruits' academic problems should have come to someone's attention earlier in the training. If it had, amends could have been made then and the recruits would not have been in the position of losing their jobs. He also said the recruit class was too large for good instruction.92 Members of the Midwest Guardians agreed with him on that

point. 93

Mr. Troutman said he felt that the city had a "moral obligation" to pay the recruits in the tutoring program because they had given up their jobs and had made a real commitment to becoming police officers. They were paid at a lower rate than if they had passed the training course. While only blacks were in the special tutoring program, Mr. Troutman said that anyone who had had academic problems would have been offered the same opportunity.94

The recruits going through the tutoring program had to go through the entire application process again according to Mr. Troutman. This was to avoid problems with seniority (which begins accruing when the recruit starts training) and also to give new applicants an equal chance at the vacancies. Mr. Troutman added that recruits who were accepted the second time would not be counted as part of the 40 percent minority goal.95

The tutoring program for the five black officers who failed the classroom training was criticized by members of the Midwest Guardians. They said the fact that the recruits were paid caused resentment and charges of unfair treatment by other officers. One of the officers interviewed said if the

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screening devices are good and testing and training procedures are fair and legal then the city should not be involved in the tutoring. 96

The final phase of the training for Omaha recruits is a period of policing

with an experienced officer for on-the-job training that the police manual

calls "coach-trainer field training."97 According to the manual this

training is to last twelve weeks. 98

The National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals

recommends a minimum of four months field training in rotating shifts, districts and assignments.99 The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reported

that in Houston recruits receive 14 weeks of such training and in Philadelphia

18 days. 100

Members of the Midwest Guardians criticized the selection of officers to


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serve as coaches for the September 1981 class. They asserted that for the first time the day shift was not involved in the field training and because almost all of the black officers are assigned to the day shift (assignment is based on seniority) this meant there were no black coaches. The Midwest Guardians were told the day shift field training had been eliminated because the new officers would not be assigned to days for at least ten years and therefore needed experience only on the other two shifts. As a result of the Guardians' protest, two young black officers with just one year of experience each were assigned as coaches. The officers feel this one year's experience is insufficient for coaching. They emphasized that they believe it is important for both the black and white recruits to have experienced black officers as coaches. They contend that this would promote understanding, acceptance, and enable black and white officers to work together and know each other as individuals.101 Seeing only white officers in these positions can reinforce existing prejudice, if any. If white recruits and officers can get to know black officers and recruits as individuals no different from

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themselves then that feeling can carry over to their work in the community.102

Because of the concerns noted above, the city is looking into various aspects of training and selecting police recruits.103 Mr. Troutman stated that various aspects of the selection procedure and training are being reviewed by the personnel department. The curriculum, the possibility of civilian instruction, evaluation of instructors and the oral interview are all being "looked into." Mr. Troutman hopes that his department will be given clear authority to take control of the recruitment, testing and training for the police division. He believes he now has the legal authority under the city charter to do so but feels the procedures need to be studied before he can recommend changes. 104 Current Inservice Training

The Omaha police division provided 50 days of inservice training in 1979, 19 days in 1980 and 19 days in 1981. Two sessions, each 15 days, of "police instructor school" account for the large number of days in 1979. The school was not offered in 1980 or 1981.105 The entire department received firearm training all three years but generally only a limited number of officers attend the different training programs. 106 Other training covered auto theft, advanced accident investigation, homicide investigation and highway safety.107

Training that could impact on police-community relations included a stress management school attended by one officer, a public speaking school for the community services bureau which was attended by 12 officers and a human behavior program attended by 40 officers. The latter two training programs were in 1981, the stress management class had been in 1979. Aside from the

human behavior program, no sensitivity training has been given in the last

three years. 108

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