Tandem Project: Developing Cultural Intelligence in Police Technology Students Using Cultural/Ethnic Mentors
The Tandem Project was an experimental applied pedagogical approach designed to meet the needs of diverse community policing and training in Montreal, Quebec, for police technology students in their first year. It allows the students to develop cultural awareness, cultural competency and cultural intelligence. This approach was developed to expose students in their first year to a random selection of ethnic/cultural mentors who represent 13 to 20 minority groups of the 120 groups in Montreal. The students, when meeting with the mentors, learn basic cultural etiquette, proper intervention techniques and how to engage community members concerning a number of issues. They also learn how the community perceives the police and main barriers between the police and the community. The results are twofold; the students learn who their future clients are and what their needs are. They also learn culture-specific interaction and communication techniques as well as culture-specific de-escalating approaches. Additionally, the mentor and their community learn to overcome negative stereotypes of police and develop a level of trust. As one church parishioner from a minority community said, ’it was nice to have the police students come to our church, it shows they care.
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