IOP Commentary

Reckoning With Racialized Police Violence: The Role of I-O Psychology

Lindsay Y. Dhanani, Christopher W. Wiese, LeVonte’ Brooks, & Kyana Beckles


The country has been gripped by the events that have unfolded in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. In response to these new examples of longstanding police violence, there have been calls to substantially reimage policing to reduce the number of violent incidents that occur between officers and the public and to combat officers’ disproportionate use of force with Black Americans. In this article, we call on industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists to leverage their expertise to help actuate meaningful change within law enforcement. To help guide our collective efforts as a field, we provide a review of the current state of affairs as they relate to recruitment, selection, training, performance management, occupational stress, and organizational culture in law enforcement, and then offer recommendations for ways to change current practices to encourage more equitable and responsible policing. We also highlight areas in which further investigation is needed and urge I-O psychologists to invest in building the knowledge necessary to inform future practices. We hope this article can facilitate a discussion about how our field can contribute to achieving evidence-based and lasting change that benefits officers and the members of the communities they serve.



Submit a Commentary Here