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'Cultural Awareness' app gives San Diego officers background on various cultural norms

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Posted at 3:15 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 20:46:32-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — When law enforcement responds to a situation in San Diego County, there's no telling who they might encounter.

The area is home to a diverse population, with many different races, ethnicities, religions, and cultures.

"Understanding a person's practice of cultural norms can help officers quickly build trust and improve communication," said District Attorney Summer Stephan on Thursday morning during a news conference.

This is why the District Attorney's Office, along with its interfaith advisory board, developed the Cultural Awareness Project. It's designed to help officers respond "respectfully" during non-emergency situations.

"We can walk in, have that conversation, making certain we're not offending anybody, that we're doing everything we can to provide a better service," said San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit.

The project centers around a newly launched app with information on 11 different communities. Within each group, categories like traditions and beliefs, greetings, visiting households, and experiences with law enforcement.

Although the app contains only 11 groups right now, the district attorney says they can add more based on experience and need.

The Cultural Awareness Project app is free and available and ready to download in the Apple and Android app stores under "Cultural Awareness Project."