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All City Employees To Undergo Implicit And Explicit Bias Training

john cranley
Bill Rinehart
The mayor, some council members, and department leaders spoke Jan. 4 to reiterate a stance against discriminatory language.

The full Cincinnati Council approved an ordinance Wednesday directing the city manager to set up implicit and explicit bias training.  

The move comes after two police officers were recorded saying the N-word during interactions with the public.  

Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld was supportive.

"Do I think this has merits in its own rights? I do," Sittenfeld said. "But I don't want this in any way to be construed as an excuse for, or a letting off the hook of, behavior and language specifically that you don’t need to go through training to know not to use."

Mayor John Cranley introduced the proposal a couple weeks ago at a press conference.

"These things affect us in a variety of ways on race and gender and class, and it's a movement that I think time has come, and I'm proud to implement training with the manager's help to all city employees," Cranley said. "Because I think it has a real life impact on the citizens that we are serving."

The city will have to decide who will conduct the training. That could be people who work for the city or an outside provider.

The police chief said last week both officers are under investigation for their actions. If there's a sustained finding against them, a hearing officer will decide if discipline is warranted. The police chief will then make a recommendation to the city manager concerning any disciplinary actions.

In August, the city made changes to its administrative regulation on non-discrimination and sexual harassment. That policy now includes suspension without pay for 40 hours, and training on the first offense, and dismissal on the second offense.