Beginning the week of October 4, 2021, the San Marcos Police Department will train all sworn officers in the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project. The evidence-based national training and support initiative developed by the Georgetown University Law Center aims to empower and educate officers, ultimately preventing misconduct, reducing mistakes, promoting officers’ health and wellness, and improving community relations.
The San Marcos Police Department was accepted into the project following a thorough application process that affirmed the department’s commitment to excellence. As part of the application process, SMPD submitted letters of support for the project written by Chief Stan Standridge, City leadership, and community groups.
“ABLE is a truly valuable resource for the department and the citizens of San Marcos alike,” said Chief Standridge. “We look forward to sharing the program with our officers and demonstrating our commitment to continuous improvement in service to our community.”
Each sworn officer within SMPD will undergo eight hours of training designed to reinforce active bystandership, which authorizes and empowers law enforcement personnel to intervene in another officer’s action, teaches successful intervention strategies, and protects individuals following intervention. The program will be led by SMPD’s certified ABLE trainers, including Chief Standridge and Officers John Dehkordi, GeCorrie Royal and Crystal Benavides.
Training in the ABLE Project reinforces SMPD employees’ moral, ethical, and legal duty to intervene to prevent another employee from engaging in conduct that would unnecessarily harm others or violate law or policy, which applies regardless of rank. Intervention is required where the bystander employee is witness to and has a reasonable opportunity to prevent or mitigate harm caused by policy or legal violations, or mistakes. Employees are also encouraged to intervene to assist colleagues in addressing health and wellness concerns.
Officers’ completion of ABLE training aims to improve relationships between law enforcement personnel and community members, build trust, and foster cooperation. The San Marcos Police Department joins more than 150 national law enforcement agencies in committing to transformational reform through the ABLE Project.
For more information about the project, visit the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement website. For media inquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.