Phoenix police to get sensitivty training

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PHOENIX -- Phoenix police officers who are accused of being rude could soon be getting lessons on how to be nice now that it's being recommended that they undergo sensitivity training.

As Javier Soto explains, that recommendation is coming from internal-affairs leaders, not the citizen task force that was appointed to help the Phoenix Police Department improve its relationship with the communities it serves.

The education-based disciplinary programs would be applied to officers accused not only of rudeness, but also of cultural insensitivity and other nonviolent behavior.

About 250 such misconduct complaints were filed in 2008. Another 250 were filed in 2009. Of the 2008 complaints, the Phoenix Police Professional Standards Bureau sustained 155. In 2009, that number dropped to 135.

The education-based discipline along with citizen-based mediation will be introduced over the next three to six months.

The citizen task force, which is comprised of neighborhood leaders, is slated to present its final recommendations later this month.