APSO deputies attend diversity training classes

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Deputies and supervisors with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office recently completed diversity training that was held at the APSO Training Center, according to Sheriff Jeff Wiley.

The patrol division, corrections division, and a few other selected employees  were required to attend a four-hour session, conducted by Sissy Franks, of Organizational Development Solutions, LLC of Rapides Parish.  Franks has over 30 years experience in human resource management and development.

The training touched on topics such as exploring all aspects of diversity and how it affects relationships with co-workers and the public, and to help identify their own cultural conditioning and the impact it has on how deputies view the world and those they interact with.  Specific instruction centered around the understanding of our conditioning, effective communication, team building, conflict resolution, problem solving/decision making, building and retaining a high performance team, and identifying and retaining star performers.

“The purpose of this training was to account for the needs and increasing diversity within the community we serve,” Sheriff Wiley said.  “With recent events that have occurred across our nation, we felt it was essential that our personnel be reminded that if members of our community feel that their own concerns are not addressed or understood, their confidence in law enforcement to meet these needs may be severely damaged."

In all, 168 APSO deputies attended the training.

The training stressed that diversity in the community must not be looked upon as a dividing factor. Instead it is necessary to develop an understanding that our differences can make our communities strong.

“It is imperative for us to fulfill the responsibilities of community policing and having awareness of community diversity,” said Sheriff Wiley. “Understanding and respecting different cultures that we serve, helps to develop better relationships and mutual understanding amongst deputies and citizens,” he added.