The Chicago Police Department has added a tour of the DuSable Museum of African American History to the training requirements for new recruits and a class of 56 officers made a trip there Monday.
“The one thing I can tell you after 29 years [is] if you don’t know a culture, you tend to fear it,” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson told Fox 32 Monday, June 26.
Welcomed to DuSable by Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the department has required new recruits to visit the Holocaust museum for years to teach soon-to-be officers about other communities’ culture. But following the 2014 shooting death of Black teen Laquan McDonald by a white officer, they’ve added Black history and a lesson about the meaning of implicit bias to their curriculum.
“We wouldn’t be Chicago without DuSable. We wouldn’t be the city we want to be,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a press conference Monday. “[DuSable] has a tremendous … showing of art with a purpose of making you aware.”
“Your reaction to people may be a little bit different if you know the history,” says upcoming academy graduate Catrina Bolin to Fox 32. “You always can learn something new. Even if you think you know it all, you don’t know it all.”
The training is open exclusively to new recruits, but the CPD is open to the possibility of expanding it in the future.