LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office has announced that it has been accepted into a national law enforcement project that trains officers on how to intervene when a colleague may react incorrectly when of an incident.
MPs will participate in the Active Bystander for Law Enforcement project, created by the Georgetown University Law Center. LSO joins over 180 other law enforcement agencies across the country and Canada.
The ABLE project provides practical active observation strategies and tactics to law enforcement officials to prevent misconduct, reduce errors, and promote health and well-being.
LSO said the program will give MPs the tools they need to overcome reservations people encounter when called upon to intervene in actions taken by another law enforcement officer.
Sheriff Wagner said a good example of how the elements of Project ABLE would be used relates to excessive force and the George Floyd case, particularly why the other officers did not intervene.
âWhen Deputy Chief Ben Houchin presented the concept to me and to the General Staff, after learning about the program during a leadership training session, we agreed that the ABLE project would provide strategies to our deputies that would help reduce errors, prevent misconduct and promote the well-being of officers. Said Sheriff Wagner.
Sheriff Wagner said the concept is interesting and will give MPs permission to actively engage if something goes wrong.
Currently, LSO does not have an intervention policy in place, but Sheriff Wagner has said the department is reviewing policies developed by the Crime Commission and will have a policy in place by the first of the year.
Over the past month LSO instructors have been certified as ABLE trainers and over the coming months all LSO assistants will receive eight hours of evidence-based active assistance training, designed not only for prevent damage, but also to change the culture of law enforcement.
Those who supported LSO’s candidacy to join the program included the Asian Community and Cultural Center, The Lighthouse and the Lancaster County Council of Commissioners, who wrote letters of support.
“Lancaster County Council fully supports the involvement of the Sheriff’s Office in this program and believes it will help the department continue to work towards fulfilling its mission of” providing exceptional law enforcement services that reduce crime, improve public safety and build public confidence, âwrote Rick Vest, chair of the Lancaster County Board of Directors.
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