Topeka Police one of 30 agencies across the nation to embrace a culture of ‘active bystandership’

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka Police Department has been selected to participate in a national training program that will encourage officers to intervene, when necessary, to prevent other officers from making costly mistakes.

With the goal of preventing police misconduct, studies show officers can prevent other officers from making costly mistakes.

Selected officers will be trained to teach the skills that encourage intervention, and in time will train other Topeka officers.

“If you start to see something that is not right, might be heading the wrong way, an interaction that is going bad, you have the skill set to step in,” said Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran.

Topeka is one of 30 departments, chosen from hundreds, that were picked to participate.

The program, ABLE (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement), trains officers to create an environment that encourages peer intervention.

The goals of the program include:

  • Reduce unnecessary harm to civilians
  • Reduce unnecessary to police officers
  • Reduced risk of officers losing their jobs
  • Reduced risk of lawsuits
  • Improved police/community relations
  • Improved officer job satisfaction
  • Improved citizen satisfaction with their law enforcement agency

ABLE training will be provided at no cost to local law enforcement agencies, but those agencies must commit to creating a culture of active bystandership and peer intervention through policy, training, support, and accountability.

Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE), is Georgetown University Law Center’s
national training and support initiative for U.S. law enforcement agencies

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