Posted Thursday, September 13th 2018, 5:21 pm CDT By Ali Brooks
CLEVELAND COUNTY, Oklahoma – Racial Intelligence Training and Engagement, or better known as RITE Training, is taking place at the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office. It helps deputies and all employees realize their emotions before dealing with the public’s emotions.
RITE Training is an interactive course, that focuses on emotional, social, and racial intelligence.
“So once the new fiscal year started, we ordered in curriculum. Had our first class last week. And we will be continuing every week until we get all the employees done before the end of the year, all employees will be through it,” Sheriff Todd Gibson, with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, said.
The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office says their past training has focused on tactical approaches to situations they deal with.
“This goes more into the human side of the problem solving. And it puts the officer or the deputy in a human position,” Sheriff Gibson said.
What the RITE program calls the emotional ladder – is a key tool in the curriculum they learn. Before responding to a call, deputies will identify where they fall on the ladder. It’s believed that the higher the rung, the better their emotional judgment.
Deputies who have already gone through the training, say it has benefited them not only in their work environment, but also in their everyday lives as well.
“One of the things that stuck out to me is, once you get down on that ladder, once you get down to that anger area, just simply say ‘get back up on your ladder’. And it brings you back up to things that you’re grateful for and gets your kind of joy back in your life,” Jeff Cox, Captain with Operations Division, CCSO, said.
Deputies say this interactive training provides knowledge to see a different perspective in any given situation.
Deputies lean into learning – Posted on Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office NEWS
The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office is going back to school this month as everyone from Sheriff Todd Gibson on down attends RITE Academy training.
RITE, or Racial Intelligence Training and Engagement, provides skills to help deputies and staff including detention deputies become more aware of their emotions and the attitudes they carry with them when they engage with the public.
“This training brings a new perspective to individuals working within law enforcement that allows them to work on themselves before they have to deal with others,” Gibson said.”
“While the training is mostly geared toward deputies and detectives in the field, we realized that every member of our team, including civil deputies and administrative staff, at some point deals with the public and with each other, so all employees are taking this training.”
The course involves private self-evaluation along with peer engagement and discussion of various scenarios and information presented through real-life videos.
“The RITE training isn’t about placing blame,” Gibson said. “It’s about knowing ourselves better, putting ourselves in another person’s shoes and learning how get a handle on our own emotions so we don’t go into a situation angry.”
The RITE training emphasizes, but is not limited to, cultural diversity issues and recognizing biases. The model introduces tools each person can use to reach a new level of self-awareness and self-regulation, allowing individuals to develop more empathy with others and stronger social skills.
The RITE training tools are lessons deputies can take into their homes as well and use when dealing with challenging teens or other family issues that trigger emotional responses.
- “Thank you for investing in us and making this training available,” said Capt. Jeff Cox, who attended the first CCSO RITE class.
- “You didn’t just say you were going to do it — you followed through with the class,” Capt. Julie Tipton said.
Undersheriff Blake Green is facilitating the course, and he is quick to point out that training is peer-oriented and emphasizes communication. Through use of best practices and greater sensitivity in dealing with others, especially those with racial or cultural differences, RITE training allows deputies to build community trust and to act with integrity.
“I sat down and took this course along with everyone else,” Gibson said. “This skill set is valuable for our team and a worthwhile investment that I believe will help all of us at CCSO do our jobs with humility while we seek continuous improvement.”
What’s one of the biggest tools RITE suggests law enforcement uses when engaging with others?
An attitude of gratitude, because sometimes that’s all it takes to stay calm, listen and see others as human beings rather than as problems. Does this mean deputies could lose their edge in the field? Absolutely not, Gibson said.
“We still use safety practices such as keeping barriers between ourselves and a suspect and observing our surroundings,” Gibson said. “What changes is our attitudes as we approach people, allowing us to de-escalate a situation rather than making things worse.”
To learn more about RITE Training, click here.