New 'Life in the Beat' class hopes to improve police/citizen rel - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

New 'Life in the Beat' class hopes to improve police/citizen relations

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The City of Evansville is working to improve relations between its employees and minorities.

Racial tensions peaked last year following the incident involving Evansville fireman, George Madison, who police say was stopped for running a stop sign on his bike.

Now, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says the fallout has the city expanding efforts to improve race relations. 

Starting this year, the mayor says all employees will be required to complete an annual online diversity program. He also says the Evansville Police Department will implement the "Life on the Beat" program.
"It's what most people go through in the private sector, it's an online tutorial. This happens to be on diversity," Winnecke says.

Sgt. Jason Cullum says it will be similar to the "Citizens' Academy" but won't require the same level of time commitment to take part.

"While some of this may appear to be tied to one specific incident, it's really not for us. These are things we've been trying to do. Once we get one program set up, we're looking at the next one," Cullum says.  

He says the first "Life in the Beat" class could be held as early as this spring.

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