87th LegislatureState HouseState SenateDemocrat Introduces Bill to Address Implicit Bias, ‘Thoughts and Feelings’ of Police Officers

“Implicit bias” training for peace officers would be mandatory under new law.
January 13, 2021
https://thetexan.news/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/police-officer-violation-of-rights-1-1280x853.jpg
A Democratic state representative has introduced a bill to “recognize and address implicit bias” among law enforcement officers in the Lone Star State.

House Bill (HB) 312 by Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth) — who was among Speaker Dade Phelan’s outspoken supporters on the Texas House floor when he was elected to the position on Tuesday — would amend the Occupations Code to require the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to administer an implicit bias training program that law enforcement officers would be required to complete within two years of licensure.

The training would be mandatory as part of the “minimum curriculum requirements.”

The bill defines “implicit bias” as “bias in an individual’s thoughts and feelings about social groups that can influence the individual’s perceptions, decision, and actions; and often operate outside the individual’s conscious awareness and without intent.”

Under the legislation, the training program would have to involve at least “four hours of classroom instruction,” and outlines parameters for the content of the training.

The Texan Tumbler

“The training program must […] critically examine common stereotypes and cultural assumptions often held by communities and the officers who serve those communities,” the bill reads.

The proposal is among others introduced in the Texas Legislature to address criticisms of the police arising partially due to high-profile incidents that have occurred in Texas and elsewhere in the U.S. 

For example, HB 54 and Senate Bill 223 would preclude law enforcement agencies from contracting with producers to create reality TV shows after a Pflugerville man died in Austin during a car chase accompanied by a film crew.

The Texan has reached out to Collier’s office for comment.

Implicit Bias Training in the Medical Profession

There are also pieces of legislation regarding implicit bias training directed toward the medical profession. 

HB 194 would mandate continuing education courses for medical doctors on “cultural competence and implicit bias” upon the renewal of the physician’s medical license. The bill appears to apply to most doctors, saying the requirements apply to any physician who “practices in the area of general practice, pediatrics, obstetrics, or gynecology.” A similar bill, HB 197, would incorporate such instruction into medical coursework in addition to continuing education requirements.

###

Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.

Get “KB's Hot Take”

A free bi-weekly commentary on current events by Konni Burton.

Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan. He has coached high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.