Florida Blue joins Miami HEAT and Miami Police Department to expand Ground-Breaking Training
As the official community partner of the Miami HEAT, Florida Blue is are honored to join the team in its partnership with the Miami Police Department and Dedication to Community (D2C) to facilitate specialized training of all of Miami’s sworn police officers with the goals of positively impacting interactions between law enforcement and our diverse, local community—particularly the Black community. In September, the partnership began with a pilot program, training a subset of Miami PD officers with the longer-term goal of providing training to all of the sworn officers of the Miami PD force, with the eventual goal of training the remaining civilian employees as well.
Training of the entire complement of sworn police officers is scheduled to begin in January 2021. The goal is to build trust, provide the tools and actions that can be used as part of the “recipe for reconciliation” while addressing implicit bias and racism within society. This is the next step in the team’s continuing effort to use their unique platform and standing in the community to deliver on their social justice pledge and effect positive change that uplifts the Black community.
“The Miami HEAT had the opportunity to participate in and observe Dedication to Community’s pilot program and we were not surprised to learn that the training program was an overwhelming success—so much so that feedback from those MPD officers who participated indicated that not only was the training valuable, but they recommended the sessions should be expanded going forward,” said Nick Arison, CEO of The HEAT Group. “We are so happy to announce that we are moving forward to do just that with the eventual goal of having all members of the Miami PD, both sworn officers and civilian employees, experience it. The HEAT will continue to adhere to the social justice pledge we made to engage in actions that lead to change. And we are beyond grateful that a select group of our partners, led by Florida Blue and including Pepsi Stronger Together and Ultimate Kronos Group, share our vision and commitment to enhancing the interactions between local law enforcement and the South Florida community they serve.”
“I am excited that the Miami HEAT has opted to expand their training commitment following the successful D2C pilot program,” said Jorge Colina, Chief of the Miami Police. “The feedback from those who attended the initial training has been overwhelmingly positive. The ultimate winners of this partnership and training effort are the residents and visitors of our community, the City of Miami. On the subject of winning – Let’s Go HEAT!”
“Florida Blue recognizes that we cannot fulfill our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health without addressing the social and racial inequality in our society,” said Pat Geraghty, President and CEO of Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan. “We applaud the Miami PD for taking this important step to improve its relationship with the Black community and are proud to support their work by joining the Miami HEAT in its ongoing efforts to make a meaningful and lasting impact in South Florida communities.”
"D2C is proud to begin the next phase of this groundbreaking progressive relationship with the HEAT and the Miami Police Department,” said M. Quentin Williams, Founder and CEO of D2C. “It is an honor to be a part of the positive unified solution that is being brought together so quickly, and we know this will have an exponential impact on society that will set the standard for other cities, teams and likeminded organizations, going forward."
Dedication to Community (D2C) is a national non-profit that educates and empowers communities and law enforcement professionals through skills-building workshops and forums designed to improve understanding and build relationships while pursuing healing, reconciliation and unity. D2C founder M. Quentin Williams and facilitators work with private and public sector organizations to train employees and engage community members in conversations and curricula about bias, cultural competency, historic and local impressions of law enforcement, safe interactions, and justice issues. Williams is a former FBI agent and federal prosecutor who has held executive positions with the NBA and NFL. He is an attorney, author and acclaimed public speaker.
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