Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Public Safety

New Cultural Awareness App Gives Officers Background On Various Cultural Norms

The San Diego Police Department headquarters is shown in this updated photo.
Milan Kovacevic
The San Diego Police Department headquarters is shown in this updated photo.

An app that provides local law enforcement officers with cultural background knowledge on a variety of San Diego County's diverse communities was introduced Thursday.

The Cultural Awareness Project gives officers background information regarding the cultural norms of 11 communities throughout the region, including traditions, beliefs, greetings, what to expect when visiting households and the groups' historical experiences with law enforcement.

The app informs officers how best to meet with and address residents based on their cultural, ethnic or religious background, according to the DA's Office, which said members of the District Attorney's Interfaith Advisory Board conducted focus groups with various community representatives in order to gather the information that made the app possible.


RELATED: SDPD Adopts New Rules On Interactions With Transgender, Nonbinary Citizens

"San Diego County is home to a variety of races, ethnicities, religions and cultural backgrounds," San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said. "Building law enforcement's understanding of our diverse communities helps to improve respectful and culturally competent communication. This new and innovative app has great promise to help advance trust between police and the communities they serve because it is a tool built by the community from the ground up. I want to thank the members of our DA Interfaith Advisory Board for devoting months of time gathering the pertinent information and making this app a reality."

Imam Taha Hassane, director of the Islamic Center of San Diego and a member of the Interfaith Advisory Board, said, "It's very important to have our local law enforcement officers equipped with the accurate information on the communities they serve and protect."

Click here for a look at what information is available in the app.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.