University of Iowa Police Officer Gabby Blanchard-Shreck is a recipient of one of the 2016-2017 Diversity Catalyst Awards.
This prestigious award honors individuals, organizations, and departments at the University of Iowa who have engaged in distinctive and innovative initiatives during the past year, which have promoted an inclusive and diverse campus community.
Blanchard-Shreck was nominated by her department for her devotion to teaching Fair and Impartial Policing Training to her peers on campus and in the wider Iowa City Community.
The training program, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Justice, emphasizes that even well-intentioned people have implicit biases that can influence their actions, that recognizing those biases is key in learning how to override them, and that policing based on biases can be unsafe, ineffective, and unjust.
"Gabby has taken this program further than we could have ever expected and instructs with an infectious passion," says UIPD Capt. Mark Bullock. "This program is sure to have long lasting results, not only within our campus, but throughout the region that we live in."
Through group discussion, presentations, and various role-playing exercises featuring community volunteers, officers are encouraged to recognize their own biases, understand how those biases impact the communities they serve, and develop skills to reduce the influence of bias on their police practice.
Blanchard-Shreck is originally from Iowa City but grew up in South Texas. She received her undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Blanchard-Shreck then served as a Military Police Officer in the Army for five years overseas, including a 12-month combat tour in Afghanistan. After an honorable discharge from active duty in 2012, Gabby returned to Iowa City. She was hired by the UI Police Department in 2013, and currently works as a patrol officer on the day watch where she is active in the community policing initiatives within the department. Blanchard-Shreck manages the department’s Rape Aggression Defense program, the Fair and Impartial Policing training program, and is part of the Crisis Intervention Team in Johnson County. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, sports, and playing guitar.
The awards will be presented on Monday, March 27, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Ballroom at the Iowa Memorial Union.
For more information about Fair and Impartial Policing Training at the UI, visit: https://now.uiowa.edu/2016/10/university-iowa-police-train-fair-and-impartial-policing-strategies