Gonzales Police
Gonzales Police Department

GONZALES — Gonzales Police Department completed the final day of training the entire police department on the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) program on Nov. 30.  

The ABLE training program was spearheaded in Gonzales by Capt. Juan Mendoza and Sgt. Kip Bowen, who successfully completed the ABLE Train-the-Trainers (TTT) program. The ABLE TTT program is a 20-hour program spread over two days and is facilitated by experts in the fields of social science, psychology, law enforcement and instructional design.

During the TTT course, instructors learn about the science behind active bystandership, encounter real-world case studies and role play realistic scenarios, study the strategies and tactics of giving and receiving an intervention, and are trained in teaching ABLE to others.

Certified ABLE instructors are then responsible for advancing ABLE training within their agencies, providing instruction to officers, and equipping officers with the skills and tools they need to effectively intervene, and accept interventions, to prevent or stop harm.   

“The ABLE program gives clear guidance on intervention techniques that have proven successful,” said Gonzales Police Chief Keith Wise. “The program educates employees in strategies that will assist them in being an active bystander as well as on the skills and actions needed to intervene in situations amongst peers, subordinates and superiors before mistakes or misconduct escalates.”

The ABLE program was developed by Georgetown Law Center for Innovations in Community Safety, in partnership with global law firm Sheppard Mullin, and is built on three foundational pillars: to reduce mistakes, prevent misconduct and promote health and wellness. Training and implementation support is provided by Georgetown Law at no cost to law enforcement agencies, but agencies must commit to creating a culture of active bystandership and peer intervention through policy, training, support and accountability.

The training program has been adopted by over 354 law enforcement agencies across the country.

“As the Police Chief, I am pleased to incorporate ABLE principles into the culture of the police department and I look forward to positive changes ABLE will provide locally and to any other agency who may choose to participate,” Wise added.

In addition to training all officers on the ABLE program, the Gonzales Police Department is in the process of finalizing a Wellness Program for the department that parallels the ABLE health and wellness principles.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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