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Cultural intelligence training for law enforcement offered at Winona State University

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WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Police officers from around the region, and some Winona State University (WSU) students, gathered at the college to learn about cultural intelligence Wednesday.

The free training gave everyone attending the opportunity to learn and understand bias and race relations and how they affect policing. The training focuses on current and future officers and their understanding of diversity in their communities.

"Talking about those four pieces, drive, knowledge, strategy and action and working that framework into their mental blueprint as the day goes on today," stated workshop instructor Shawn Williams, Ed.D. "It's not a one size fits all, which is not diversity. It's getting them to understand that each and every time they walk into any situation there's diversity and they need to be mindful."

Long time officers and students alike were given tools to practice and eventually implement on their own. Topics included self-efficacy, honesty and communication.

"Well we learned how to help us improve our community relations especially since I'm the next generation of police officers," said WSU student Garett Zakrzewski.

Some long standing officers had their own goals in mind regarding the training.

"My goal was to learn more about the cultural diversity of society in a whole not just by race. And its very prevalent in our smaller communities for sure," said Alma Police Chief Michael Johnson.

The overall goal Williams has for everyone when it comes to cultural training is to take the insights discussed during the training and continue to discuss them deeper within their departments.

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Carli Petrus

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