SARASOTA, Fla. – Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) is a research-based program to prevent misconduct, avoid police mistakes, and promote officer health and safety.
The ABLE Project was developed by a partnership of the Georgetown Law Center for Innovations in Community Policing and the Sheppard Mullin Law Firm.
It builds on research by Dr. Ervin Staub, Founding Director of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Psychology of Peace and Violence Program. ABLE training not only empowers police officers to prevent harmful behaviors, and support and develop personal health and wellness; it also creates a culture that supports peer intervention.
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The Sarasota Police Department is one of six agencies in the state of Florida to institute ABLE. Having officers trained in ABLE techniques will offset the potential for harm to themselves and enable officers to be better suited to protect citizens in the City of Sarasota.
The first of several ABLE training sessions is scheduled for Tuesday, August 29, 2023. Community leaders are already showing support for this initiative, with the Sarasota Police Department receiving endorsements from the Sarasota chapter of the NAACP and the Light of the World Church.
After ABLE Training, officers are equipped to:
- Prevent Misconduct: Officers learn to recognize common triggers in the field and are empowered to intervene to stop any action that violates law or policy.
- Avoid Police Mistakes: Officers gain the tools and confidence to intervene when they see someone making a potentially dangerous mistake.
- Promote Officer Health & Wellness: The department supports, and officers develop, daily wellness activities and recognizes the importance of maintaining physical and mental health as part of the necessary tools for successful on-job performance and healthy off-duty work/life balance.
“Through ABLE training, our officers are not only preventing misconduct and mistakes but also cultivating a culture of vigilance for one another’s well-being,” said Sarasota Police Chief Rex Troche. “This program empowers us to serve our community with enhanced safety and accountability.”
There are currently 330 law enforcement agencies in the United States that implement ABLE and more than 2,200 certified ABLE instructors.
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