IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - The Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs (ICHA) partnered with the City of Idaho Falls and Idaho Falls Police to host this year's Idaho Law Enforcement Conference: Building Diversity, Strengthening Our Communities.
Law enforcement agencies from Idaho Falls and the surrounding region participated in the conference. During Thursday's conference, speakers discussed topics such as implicit bias, cultural competency and cultural awareness.
The conference was held at the Melaleuca Headquarters Event Center. The idea for this conference began when Idaho Falls Police Chief Bryce Johnson attended a similar conference in the Boise area several months ago.
“This is an opportunity for vested stakeholders to open lines of communication between law enforcement and communities," said Executive Director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs Margie Gonzalez. "The goal is for participants to take resources from the conference that they can use in their communities.”
Featured speakers included Dr. Robert Strauss from Global Perspective Consulting, LLC, Idaho Falls Police Lieutenant John Marley, and Sheriff Ed Gonzalez from the Harris County Sheriff Department in Houston, Texas, among others. Sheriff Gonzalez was recently nominated by President Biden to become the next director of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Office.
Lt. Marley believes this education will help benefit his department.
"We serve in the communities that we live in and are a part of those communities," Lt. Marley said. "Understanding that people have different points of view, different backgrounds, different cultural beliefs, and we deal with people as a whole and not just as individuals, will do us all a benefit."