DENTON, TX, Sept. 18, 2020 – The Denton Police Department has been accepted into the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project, Georgetown University Law Center’s national training and support initiative for U.S. law enforcement agencies committed to building a culture of peer intervention that prevents harm. ABLE was developed to provide practical active bystandership strategies and tactics to law enforcement officers to prevent misconduct, reduce officer mistakes, and promote health and wellness.
By demonstrating agency commitment to transformational reform with support from local community groups and leaders, the Denton Police Department joins a select group of 30 other law enforcement agencies and statewide and regional training academies chosen to participate in the ABLE Project’s national rollout. To date, hundreds of agencies across the country have expressed interest in participating.
Backed by prominent civil rights and law enforcement leaders, the evidence-based, field-tested ABLE Project was developed by Georgetown Law’s Innovative Policing Program in collaboration with global law firm Sheppard Mullin LLP. ABLE gives officers the tools they need to overcome the innate and powerful inhibitors individuals face when called upon to intervene in actions taken by their peers.
Police Chief Frank Dixon said seeking inclusion to join the ABLE Project reflected important priorities for the Denton Police Department.
“It is an honor to have been selected to participate in the ABLE Project, and we are excited and humbled by our community’s partnership and support,” said Chief Dixon.
Those backing the Denton Police Department’s application to join the program included Denton City Manager Todd Hileman, Pastor Cedric Chambers of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church and president of the Denton and Vicinity Ministerial Alliance, and Pamela Gutierrez, executive director of the Denton County MHMR Center, who wrote letters of support.
“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 Professor Christy Lopez, co-director of Georgetown Law’s Innovative Policing Program, which runs ABLE.
“Intervening in another’s action is harder than it looks after the fact, but it’s a skill we all can learn. And, frankly, it’s a skill we all need – police and non-police. ABLE teaches that skill,” said Jonathan Aronie, chair of the ABLE Project Board of Advisors and Sheppard Mullin partner.
The ABLE Project Train-The-Trainer event begins later this month. Over the coming weeks, Denton Police Department instructors will be certified as ABLE trainers. In the coming months, all Denton PD officers will receive eight hours of evidence-based active bystandership training designed not only to prevent harm, but to change the culture of policing.
Contact: Amy Cunningham, (940) 349-8558, DentonPD.MediaRelations@cityofdenton.com
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For more information about the ABLE Project, visit the program’s website or contact Tanya Weinberg, Director of Media Relations at Georgetown Law, at email@example.com or 202-577-7827.