Mineral Wells Area News

MW Police Department Joins National ABLE Project

MW Police Department Joins National ABLE Project
December 09
12:05 2021

The Mineral Wells Police Department has been 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, the Mineral Wells Police Department joins a select group of more than 200 other law enforcement agencies and statewide and regional training academies from across the country and in Canada.

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.

Support Services Lieutenant Darby Thomas said seeking inclusion to join the ABLE Project reflected important priorities for the Mineral Wells Police Department.

“The Train the Trainer session we went through provided very detailed instructions for all law enforcement officers, whether it be a rookie or veteran, on how to intervene and prevent harm or misconduct ” said Darby Thomas. “I believe this will eventually be a legislative mandate and taught in the police academies.”

Those backing the Mineral Wells Police Department’s application to join the program included the Mineral Wells 4th Responders and The League of United Latin American Citizens, (LULAC)], who wrote letters of support.

“I believe the Mineral Wells Police Department would benefit from the project, as well as have the necessary resources, support and desire to implement it and follow the project guidelines,” said Claudia Azua, President of LULAC.

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.”

ABLE Project Train-The-Trainer events take place every month. By the end of January 2022, The Mineral Wells Police Department instructors will be certified as ABLE trainers; and over the coming months, all of the Department’s officers will receive 8 hours of evidence-based active bystandership education designed not only to prevent harm, but to change the culture of policing. Please follow our progress in this critical area on Facebook @MineralwellsPD.