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Missouri 2024 Lesson Summaries

2024 Lesson 4: Caselaw Update

Legal

Release Date:

3/1/2024

This is an online legal studies course. The lesson addresses recent court decisions providing guidance to law enforcement officers regarding: when minors can consent to a search; when a warrant is so deficient that police may not lawfully rely on it to conduct a search; the circumstances under which police may conduct a warrantless search of a vehicle reported stolen; what evasive action from a suspect will give officers reasonable suspicion of criminal activity justifying a brief, investigatory stop; and whether the use of force to disperse protestors always constitute a seizure, such that officers can be liable for using excessive force.

2024 Lesson 3: Autism

Interpersonal

Release Date:

2/1/2024

This lesson teaches law enforcement officers about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The first section explains the nature of ASD, including the criteria that form its diagnosis, current scientific theories about its causes, its prevalence in the general population, and available therapies. The second section explains how the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits police officers from intentionally discriminating against people with autism and failing to provide reasonable accommodations for them while officers are executing their law enforcement duties. This includes on-the-scene interactions, arrests, transportation, interrogations, and incarceration. The third section provides descriptions of common outward signs police officers can use to give officers clues that an individual may be on the autism spectrum. These include stimming, sensory sensitivities (including hypersensitivity to touch), delayed or lack of response to verbal commands, awkward stiff or loping gait, speaking in an odd cadence and tone, echolalia, and lack of normal eye contact (either extreme avoidance or staring). The fourth section outlines best practices for interacting with autistic individuals, including preventing the escalation of an encounter, effectively responding to wandering calls, increasing the effectiveness of interviews, and engaging in community outreach regarding autism.

2024 Lesson 19: Ethics

Interpersonal

Release Date:

2/1/2024

This is an online interpersonal perspectives course addressing police ethics. The lesson explains the importance of ethical behavior in policing, presents a model code of ethics, sets out practical benefits from having high standards, exposes the Code of Silence, and warns of the slippery slope of engaging in progressively worse conduct. It defines and discusses ethical breaches such as accepting bribes, behaving in an unprofessional manner, and committing crimes of moral turpitude. It explains the importance of avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. The lesson sets out the rights of Missouri law enforcement officers during a disciplinary proceeding, including Garrity Rights and statutory rights. It discusses the importance of fair treatment for all, including avoiding sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination, and the effect that implicit bias can have in policing. It illustrates ways in which officers have deviated from high ethical standards through case studies taken from actual, recent disciplinary proceedings.

2024 Lesson 1: Caselaw Update

Legal

Release Date:

1/1/2024

This lesson has four sections. The first section uses the recent case of State v. Klein to teach officers about the “plain feel” doctrine, the scope of a permissible Terry search, and the scope of a consent search. The second section uses the recent case of Nieters v. Holtan to teach officers about the concepts of probable cause and arguable probable cause, the importance of reevaluating the existence of probable cause in light of new information, the facts and circumstances that limit an officer to using only “de minimus” force to effect an arrest, and liability under 42 United States Code section 1983. The third section uses the recent case of State v. Laughlin to teach officers about the different types of evidence they should look for in order to prove crimes, such as driving while intoxicated or careless and imprudent driving, where operating a motor vehicle is an element of the offense, especially in cases where the engine is not running when the officers arrive at the scene. The fourth section explains the origin and meaning of the term “color of law,” the uses of that term in state and federal law, and circumstances where an officer will, or will not, be found to be acting under color of law.

2024 Lesson 2: Implicit Bias

Interpersonal

Release Date:

1/1/2024

Section one addresses how to recognize implicit bias; how culture, developmental history, and experience can lead to the emergence of implicit bias; how implicit (e.g., unconscious) bias has the potential to produce biased or unfair decisions and behavior; and studies demonstrating the effects of implicit bias.


Section two examines unconscious associations some individuals may make between race and criminal activity. It highlights several studies exploring this relationship. It provides information on other types of biases that may also affect decision making and be influenced by implicit racial bias.    


Section three explains the concept of microaggressions and how micro-aggressive behavior may result from implicit bias. It provides examples of microaggressions and tips for changing micro-aggressive behavior. 


Section four examines strategies for reducing implicit bias, including stereotype replacement, counter-stereotypic imaging, individuation, perspective taking, and increasing contact in a positive setting.

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