Chicago police recruits visit DuSable Museum, learn about African American history

CHICAGO (WLS) -- New Chicago police recruits got a lesson in cultural awareness on Monday at the DuSable Museum of African American History on the South Side.

The museum is usually closed on Monday, but they opened for future Chicago police officers to help them learn more about African American communities.

"Anything that I can do personally and that we can do as an institution to assist our communities and bring more peace, and more knowledge, more awareness, I think is absolutely part of our mission," said Perri Irmer, DuSable president and CEO.

The senior class of the Chicago Police Academy was welcomed to the museum by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

"Perhaps even more important is to understand the roots that are often fractured with the relationships with law enforcement. The fear and mistrust that has been passed down for generations," Johnson said.

As part of CPD's new cultural awareness training, recruits will now visit the museum and participate in frank discussions about race at DuSable.

"I cannot think of a better way of building the importance of trust between the police department and different communities that make up this city than to have part of your training something totally new," Emanuel said.

Afterwards the visit, some of the recruits shared their thoughts about the experience.

"I think that a lot of people have these conversations anyway, whether you're with friends and family behind closed doors, but here, we're all going to work together. We're one family. We're one city," said recruit Dylan Anger.

"It's important for everybody," said recruit Julius Strong. "Race, ethnicity, none of that matters. We're all one people at the end. So long as we do our job right, in a proper way, that's all that matters."

The recruits have less than three weeks of training left.
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