Sgt. McGlothian-Taylor provides anti-bias training for students, MSUPD
Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor had been a part of the MSU Police Department for "a couple of decades" before she was appointed head of the new Inclusion and Anti-Bias Unit in November 2015, which provides biases training, among other things, for police officers and MSU students.
"We sort of hit the ground running in December with a number of trainings that we had,” McGlothian-Taylor said.
McGlothian-Taylor is the only member of the unit, but she has all of the MSU police officers at her disposal.
"I tend to utilize those community police officers and community policing is every single one of our officers within the department," McGlothian-Taylor said. "I just utilize the officers we already have, and that’s been working quite well.”
More than 230 Greater Lansing police officers have trained on implicit and explicit bias to better their interactions with communities.
"These officers are not just from our police department but from the city of East Lansing," McGlothian-Taylor said. "There were officers from Lansing Police Department, Meridian Township, Bath Township. We try to include departments where we have students from the university, where they actually live.”
She has also met or will meet with multiple students groups this semester, such as Associated Students of Michigan State University, Black Student Alliance, Culturas de las Razas Unidas and Asian Pacific American Student Organization, in order to provide training on biases and basic interactions with the police.
“We’ve done quite a bit with student groups on campus, trying to build those relationships," McGlothian-Taylor said. "We want to have a good working relationship with individuals before problems take place."
McGlothian-Taylor said she believes working with a variety of people is one of the best parts of her job.
"I like the idea of being able to interact with people, teach them about what we’re doing here and helping to make it a better police department,” McGlothian-Taylor said.
But while there are many good parts of her job, stereotypes can be frustrating to deal with.
“I think (my) least favorite part might be where you have people that automatically make assumptions about police officers," McGlothian-Taylor said. "I would say give us a chance in terms of getting to know you as individuals and you have an opportunity to get to know us, but don’t prejudge.”
As a new unit within department, McGlothian-Taylor wants to raise awareness about the importance of the Inclusion and Anti-Bias Unit's work.
"Students should care because the university is all about including everyone, and this unit helps to promote that," McGlothian-Taylor said. "We want students to feel safe here at the university and this unit is one way of making certain or helping people to realize that there are differences and we all should be working together as one community.”