Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project


The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission has been accepted into the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project, Georgetown University Law Center. This is a national training and support initiative for U.S. law enforcement agencies committed to building a culture of peer intervention that prevents harm.  By demonstrating agency commitment to transformational reform with support from local community groups and elected leaders, The Commission 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. 

ABLE training is a project of the Innovative Policing Program (IPP) at Georgetown Law. The IPP is a national hub for launching new and innovative police training programs.

The ABLE Project Train-The-Trainer events have already begun. Training Commission instructors are being certified as ABLE trainers; and over the coming months, all our recruit officers and deputies will begin receiving 8 hours of evidence-based active bystandership training designed not only to prevent harm, but to change the culture of policing.  

To apply, complete Train-The-Trainer application request and include your agencies letters required per ABLE standards.

CJTC does not currently offer the 8-hour training to those that are not recruits in BLEA.

Goals of ABLE

  • Prevent misconduct
  • Avoid police mistakes, and
  • Promote officer health and wellness

Resources

For more information regarding the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s implementation of ABLE, contact Chris Clark at cclark@cjtc.wa.gov

Contact the Georgetown ABLE media team at mediarelations@georgetown.edu or (202) 662- 4199.

If you, or your agency is interested in learning more about the training, ABLE would be available to set up an executive session, which is a 1–2-hour overview of ABLE and describes the standards to which agencies must agree. However, the session is targeted toward command staff/decision-makers in the department. Please contact Lisa Kurtz if you would like more information at Lisa.Kurtz@georgetown.edu .

 

Refer to Georgetown Law ABLE FAQ for more information.



 


FAQ

Question Answer

What is Substitute Senate Bill 5066, Peace Officers - Duty to Intervene?

  • Substitute Senate Bill 5066, Peace Officers - Duty to Intervene (SSB 5066) was signed into Washington state law on July 25, 2021. SSB 5066 requires that any identifiable law enforcement officer who witnesses another officer using or attempting to use excessive force must intervene to end and/or prevent the use of excessive force and report to their supervisor. The bill also requires the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) to incorporate duty to intervene training in the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) training curriculum. All peace officers who completed basic law enforcement training prior to January 31, 2022 must receive Duty to Intervene training no later than December 31, 2023.

What is the WSCJTC's role in SSB 5066?

  • WSCJTC must develop a written model policy by Dec 1, 2021, which has been completed and is found here . Each agency must adopt a written model policy by June 1, 2022.
  • ABLE is provided by the Innovative Policing Program (IPP) at Georgetown Law. WSCJTC offers the Georgetown University ABLE program to the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) and the Basic Law Enforcement Equivalency Academy (BLEEA).
  • The training for those attending BLEA is mandated and CJTC has elected to utilize ABLE.  WSCJTC incorporated ABLE training curriculum for those attending basic law enforcement training in March of 2021.
  • There is a mandate for current officers and deputies to complete training related to the requirements of Duty to Intervene by Dec. 31, 2023, but it is not mandated that it be ABLE training specifically or completed specifically through WSCJTC.
  •  ABLE is a free option that is available, and it is a well-known program, but the decision is up to the individual agency.  

What is ABLE? (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement)

  • ABLE employs evidence-based practices to give officers the tools and skills they need to perform an intervention.
  • Officers are trained in how to give an intervention, how to receive an intervention, and how to follow up on the intervention to prevent future harm.
  • ABLE requires a commitment from leadership to build a culture where active bystandership is encouraged, expected, and accepted.
  • ABLE training is based on a professionally designed curriculum that draws on decades of social science research and uses adult-based learning methods to deliver this learning effectively.
  • ABLE helps agencies create a climate in which active bystandership is welcome and effective. 

How does an agency become ABLE Certified?

An agency becomes certified, what’s next?

  • Once your agency has submitted all required materials and becomes certified, you will be given information and links on how to sign up your instructors for the Train the Trainer courses.
  • Identify designated personnel to complete the Train the Trainer 20-hour course.
  • Register the identified personnel for the course facilitated through Georgetown. 

What are the ABLE course requirements?

  • The class must be delivered in either a straight 8 hours or 2 four-hour blocks.
  • There must be two ABLE certified instructors present.
  • The curriculum cannot be changed without approval from ABLE.
  • Trainers will train their agency personnel in the course, 8-hours in total and annual 2-hour refresher course training.
  • Agencies that do not have their own certified ABLE Train the Trainers may attend a neighboring agency’s class(es) or the at-large training that ABLE provides for a fee.
    • Neighboring agencies can only train individuals who are also from a certified ABLE agency.

Why do you require an agency to submit four letters in support of its application?

  • ABLE is designed to change culture in a way that benefits community members and police officers. A public commitment to ABLE by both agency and city/state leadership helps ensure that an agency’s adoption of ABLE is supported from all sides and implemented in a meaningful manner. As this is one of the 10 ABLE Standards, participating agencies must submit four letters of support – one from the agency head (e.g., Chief/Sheriff), one from the locality head (e.g., Mayor/County Executive), and two from community groups vouching for the agency’s commitment to ABLE. The purpose of the letters is to promote sustainability, transparency, and accountability.

What agencies are ABLE Certified?

The most current list of ABLE Certified Agencies in Washington State is stated below.

    • Auburn Police Department
    • Bellevue Police Department
    • Everett Police Department
    • Kent Police Department
    • King County Sheriff's Office
    • Lake Forest Park Police Department
    • Langley Police Department
    • Lynnwood Police Department
    • Medina Police Department
    • Port Angeles Police Department
    • Renton Police Department
    • Seattle Police Department
    • Shelton Police Department
    • Spokane Police Department
    • Tumwater Police Department
    • Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission
    • Whatcom County Sheriff's Office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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