SJSO seeks to enhance community relations with RITE training

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 4, 2019

LAPLACE – Last week, the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office wrapped up training for employees to improve emotional self-awareness and enhance community relations skills. The training, held at Patrol Headquarters in LaPlace, was a program founded by Racial Intelligence Training and Engagement or RITE Academy.
Sheriff Mike Tregre said this training is important to help officers become more aware of differences in others and treat them with respect and consideration as well as to help them better understand a situation and react appropriately, and at the same time, show sensitivity to all people involved in the situation.
Cpl. Chris Crawford, Deputy Ira Marsalis and Cpl. Larry Williams led the classes for all officers with the SJSO at Patrol Headquarters in LaPlace.
Crawford, Marsalis and Williams are certified as RITE Academy cultural diversity trainers. Specializing in cultural diversity training for law enforcement, the ultimate goal of RITE Academy is to improve relations between police and communities.
Classes focused on emotional and social intelligence. The officers learned to gauge their emotional state so they do not react negatively. Techniques to improve communication skills, enhance mindfulness on and off the job and enhance diversity and inclusion were among other topics discussed.
Being conscious of their emotions and focusing on how the officer feels so he or she can improve his or her reactions in various situations are major factors in the training, Crawford said.