Julie Humphreys, Public Safety Communication Manager, 509.625.5868
Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 3:38 p.m.
SPD delivers required state training program to help officers stop unnecessary harmful behavior by fellow officers and to promote officer health and safety
The Spokane Police Department has received certification as an Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) agency, making the department one of the first agencies in Washington to do so. Washington Senate Bill 5066, signed into law in July of 2021, requires the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) to incorporate duty to intervene training in the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA). Further, all peace officers must receive the training by December 31, 2023. SPD chose to apply for training certification and adopt ABLE ahead of the required date and will wrap up initial training for officers this week.
The ABLE Project was born out of Georgetown University Law Center’s Innovative Police Program. ABLE is a national training and support initiative for law enforcement agencies around the country to promote a culture of peer intervention to prevent harm. It provides active bystander strategies and tactics to prevent officer misconduct, reduce officer mistakes, and cultivate health and wellness. ABLE teaches officers tools to overcome the obstacles that may prohibit them from intervening in one another’s actions, regardless of his/her rank. It also protects those who intervene.
SPD has 8 ABLE instructors who teach the curriculum. ABLE is already taught in the Academy curriculum and the department’s initial in-service ABLE education for officers will conclude on Friday June 17, 2022. The Spokane Police Department will incorporate follow-up ABLE training at future in-service sessions. One of the requirements to be an ABLE agency is community support. Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl:
“The Spokane Police Department is constantly striving to evolve with best practices and innovative policing. This training has been well-received by SPD and we are thankful to the community leaders who supported our efforts to bring this training to Spokane.”
Training that helps prevent police misconduct and police mistakes benefits everyone, officers and community members alike. SPD values its relationship with our community and programs such as ABLE help build trust, foster cooperation, and create a safer environment for all.
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