FARGO — North Dakota State University's police officers will go through additional training on racial issues and policing in response to the death of a black man while in the custody of Minneapolis police.
The university’s law enforcement agency has formed a training curriculum that will include an additional six to eight hours of training on anti-bias, civil rights and how race relates to policing, NDSU spokeswoman Brynn Rawlings said in an email on Wednesday, June 10.
Officers will complete the training before the next school year starts, Rawlings said. It is expected to be conducted annually, she added.
President Dean Bresciani announced the directive last week as he acknowledged the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the protests that followed. Four ex-Minneapolis officers have been criminally charged in connection to Floyd’s death last month.
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“Simply put, our students and colleagues of color are valued members of the NDSU community and need to feel supported,” Bresciani said in the June 4 statement.
The actions of the former Minneapolis officers have sparked protests and riots worldwide, including in Fargo on May 30. Protesters have called for justice amid Floyd’s death, as well as reforms to law enforcement to end police brutality.
Bresciani discussed the additional training with NDSU police, said Mike Borr, director of university police and public safety. Police Chief William Vandal was asked to speak with leaders of minority student organizations on campus about interactions with police officers at NDSU.
“We’re certainly in full support of the directive that he issued,” Borr said.
NDSU officers already participate in training regarding hate crimes, cultural diversity and inclusivity, Rawlings said. Any continuing educational opportunities is beneficial to the police department and the campus, Vandal said.
“NDSU Police has always emphasized the importance of eliminating biases and fostering an environment of inclusivity,” Borr said. “We realize now more than ever it is important to highlight these topics.”
Bresciani said he still has full confidence in police at NDSU.