Golden Police Department Joins National ABLE Project

Golden, Colo. ­— March 12, 2021 — Golden Police Department was 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. 

By demonstrating a firm commitment to transformational reform with support from local community groups and elected leaders, Golden Police Department joins a select group of more than 90 other law enforcement agencies and training academies from across the country.

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 to provide practical active bystandership strategies and tactics to law enforcement officers to prevent misconduct, reduce mistakes, and promote health and wellness. 

ABLE gives officers the tools they need to overcome the innate and powerful inhibitors all individuals face when called upon to intervene in actions taken by their peers.

Chief William Kilpatrick said seeking inclusion to join the ABLE Project reflected important priorities for the Golden Police Department.

“The Golden Police Department is a fully committed and transparent organization.  I want our members to have complete support and respect from our community.” said Chief Kilpatrick. “Providing this type of training and setting clear expectations for our officers is critical and will increase the trust our community has in its police officers and the Golden Police Department.”

Those backing the Golden Police Department’s application to join the program and wrote letters of support included Golden City Manager Jason Slowinski, Pastor Kevin Shive, and Golden United Board of Directors President Ron Benioff.

“I am encouraged by the Golden Police Departments vision and strategy to be self-improving on all levels of the organization.  I have been in direct conversations with many leaders within the Department and they are passionate about ensuring forward momentum toward necessary adjustments to care for all members of our community,” wrote Pastor Shive.

ABLE Project Train-The-Trainer events take place every month.  In December, Golden Police Department Commander Drew Williams was certified as ABLE lead trainer. In February, all of the Department’s officers received the 8 hours of evidence-based active bystandership education designed not only to prevent harm, but to change the culture of policing.

Professor Christy Lopez, co-director of Georgetown Law’s Innovative Policing Program, which runs ABLE, explained: “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.” 

Chair of the ABLE Project Board of Advisors, Sheppard Mullin partner Jonathan Aronie, added: “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.”

The ABLE Project is guided by a Board of Advisors comprised of civil rights, social justice, and law enforcement leaders, including Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Commissioner Danielle Outlaw of the Philadelphia Police Department; Dr. Ervin Staub, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the founder of the Psychology of Peace and Justice Program; and an impressive collection of other police leaders, rank and file officers, and social justice leaders. 

  • See the complete list of the ABLE Project Board of Advisors.
  • For more information about the ABLE Project, visit the program’s website.
  • See a list of the ABLE Standards to which every participating agency must adhere.
  • These articles share more information about active bystandership generally, and the ABLE Project in particular.
     

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For more information regarding the Golden Police Department, contact Commander Drew Williams at dwilliams@cityofgolden.net or 303-384-8074.

For more information on the ABLE Project, contact Liza, ABLE Program Coordinator, at LBA17@georgetown.edu or Lisa, ABLE Project Director, at Lisa.Kurtz@georgetown.edu

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