Over the next several months, employees of the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office will be trained in “bystandership training” in an effort to change the culture of policing.
On Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Office announced that it was chosen out of hundreds of applicants around the country to participate in Georgetown University Law Center’s Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project. There are 34 other law enforcement participants.
Over the next several months, all deputy and civilian employees will be required to get eight hours of “evidence-based active bystandership training designed not only to prevent harm, but to change the culture of policing,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Dana Lawhorne said the initiative that improves his department’s ability to meet community expectations,
“That’s why we aggressively sought to be a part of this,” Lawhorne said. “It’s important to us as an agency, it’s important to the community we serve.”
Sheriff’s Office staff will undergo train-the-trainer classes and become certified ABLE trainers. Letters supporting the Sherifff’s application were sent by Mayor Justin Wilson, Correctional Services Advisory Board Chair Amy Reed and Human Rights Commission Vice Chair Matt Harris.
“Now more than ever, communities across the country, and the law enforcement agencies that serve those communities, are recognizing that first responders must do a better job intervening when necessary to prevent their colleagues from causing harm or making costly mistakes,” ABLE states on its website. “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.”
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Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of fire department and police activity at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria on Monday — it’s just a drill.
The synagogue at 3830 Seminary Road will be hosting a “a critical incident training exercise” from 8-11 a.m. and 6-9 p.m. on Veterans Day (Nov. 11). Alexandria police and firefighters will be conducting the exercise.
“Residents should expect police activity, interment road closures and a variety of police and fire vehicles,” police said via social media.
TRAINING :: On Nov 11 APD and AFD will be conducting a critical incident training exercise at the Beth El Hebrew Congregation (Seminary Rd) from 8AM – 11AM and 6PM -9PM. Residents should expect police activity, interment road closures and a variety of police and fire vehicles. pic.twitter.com/WucVMvFbIe
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) November 7, 2019
Photo via Google Maps