Missouri police will receive training in recognizing bias

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri police officers will now have mandatory annual training in recognizing bias, de-escalating situations and dealing with people with mental health issues.

The state Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission approved 24 hours of mandatory annual training on Tuesday, after Gov. Jay Nixon had directed the commission in August to revamp standards. He said the fatal 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson sparked a national debate on police training and gave Missouri a chance to help lead the discussion.

Police previously needed 48 hours of training every three years.

One sheriff questioned whether more training will solve problems. Atchison County Sheriff Dennis Martin also says the more time officers spend in training, the less time they can patrol.