UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center brings training to UT Martin Public Safety

 UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center brings training to UT Martin Public Safety

UT Martin Public Safety Director Monte Belew is pictured on the main campus with Morton, the department’s service dog, and UT Martin students (l to r) Carly Bartolo, of Chapel Hill; Darien Quinones, of Parsippany, New Jersey; Daniel Arellanes, of Brownsville; and Jeremy Martinez, of Jackson.

UT Martin Public Safety Officers are participating in training this week to help increase their cultural competency and reduce biased-based policing to better serve the main campus and surrounding area.

The training is being held through Wednesday in the Boling University Center’s Smith Legislative Chamber.

The new, three-day certification program is offered by the UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center, an agency of the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service. All UT System law enforcement agencies will receive the training before it’s eventually launched nationwide.

“LEIC has created a national certification program for law enforcement agencies across Tennessee and nationwide,” said Rick Scarbrough, LEIC executive director. “This training will increase diversity in law enforcement and examine perceptions, stereotypes and cultural assumptions.”

UTM Public Safety Director Monte Belew is finding ways to bring a community-oriented policing approach to the university and sees this training as an important step toward further implementing his vision. “We’re here to show respect, to serve the students and faculty of UTM and make the campus an even better place than it already is,” he said. “This training will help us recognize effective ways to build greater trust with those we serve.”

LEIC is offering this training in partnership with the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles to meet the critical need of increasing diversity and cross-cultural competency and minimizing biased-based policing.

In December 2013, the UT Martin Department of Public Safety received full accreditation by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police by meeting established standards of professionalism and accountability to the public they serve. Accreditation is a continuing process, and the department is committed to maintaining the progressive standards set by the association. The department received its second award in 2018.