Last summer, countless people watched the video of a Minneapolis police officer placing his knee on George Floyd’s neck and surely wondered why the other three officers at the scene didn’t do …
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Last summer, countless people watched the video of a Minneapolis police officer placing his knee on George Floyd’s neck and surely wondered why the other three officers at the scene didn’t do more to intervene.
Now, the Golden Police department is set to receive training that will empower officers to speak up when they feel another officer is acting inappropriately in the field.
On March 12, the Golden Police Department announced it has been accepted into the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project.
Backed by prominent civil rights and law enforcement leaders, the evidence-based, field-tested ABLE Project was developed by Georgetown University Law School’s Innovative Policing Program and international law firm Sheppard Mullin LLP to provide practical active bystandership strategies and tactics to law enforcement officers to prevent misconduct, reduce mistakes, and promote health and wellness. The Golden Police will be one of 90 departments across the nation in the program.
According to the release, “ABLE will give officers the tools they need to overcome the innate and powerful inhibitors all individuals face when called upon to intervene in actions taken by their peers.”
“Intervening in another’s action is harder than it looks after the fact, but it’s a skill we all can learn,” said Sheppard Mullin partner Jonathan Aronie, who chairs the ABLE Project Board of Advisors, in a press release. “And, frankly, it’s a skill we all need – police and non-police. ABLE teaches that skill.
For Golden Police Chief Bill Kilpatrick, the move to join the ABLE Project is reflective of important priorities for the department.
“The Golden Police Department is a fully committed and transparent organization [and] I want our members to have complete support and respect from our community,” said Chief Kilpatrick in the release. “Providing this type of training and setting clear expectations for our officers is critical and will increase the trust our community has in its police officers and the Golden Police Department.”
Golden City Manager Jason Slowinski, Pastor Kevin Shive, and Golden United Board of Directors President Ron Benioff all wrote letters of support for the department’s effort to join the program.
“I am encouraged by the Golden Police Departments vision and strategy to be self-improving on all levels of the organization,” wrote Shive. “I have been in direct conversations with many leaders within the department and they are passionate about ensuring forward momentum toward necessary adjustments to care for all members of our community.”
In December, Golden Police Department Commander Drew Williams was certified as an ABLE lead trainer. In February, all department officers received eight hours of evidence-based active bystandership education that is designed to both prevent harm and change the culture of policing. designed not only to prevent harm, but to change the culture of policing.
“The ABLE Project seeks to ensure every police officer in the United States has the opportunity to receive meaningful, effective active bystandership training, and to help agencies transform their approach to policing by building a culture that supports and sustains successful peer intervention to prevent harm,” said Christy Lopez in the release. Lopez is the co-director of Georgetown Law’s Innovative Policing Program, which runs ABLE,
The ABLE Project is guided by a Board of Advisors comprised of civil rights, social justice, and law enforcement leaders, including Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Commissioner Danielle Outlaw of the Philadelphia Police Department; Dr. Ervin Staub, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the founder of the Psychology of Peace and Justice Program; and an impressive collection of other police leaders, rank and file officers, and social justice leaders.
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