COHASSET — Chief William Quigley is pleased to announce that the Cohasset 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, Cohasset Police will join a select group of more than 115 other law enforcement agencies and statewide and regional training academies from across the country and 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.
“Being accepted into the ABLE Project reflects the Cohasset Police Department’s dedication to growth and accountability,” Chief Quigley said. “We are proud to be joining such an impressive list of departments nationwide in this very important training initiative. Participation in the ABLE project will be key for us as we move the department forward with meaningful police reform.”
The department’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant Gregory Lennon, is already a certified trainer through the program and will train the entire CPD staff over the next few months.
Cohasset Police are one of only six departments in Massachusetts to join the ABLE Project, along with Boston Police, Mass. State Police, Lawrence Police, Brookline Police and Northeastern University Police.
Those backing the Cohasset Police Department’s application to join the program included the Town of Cohasset’s Diversity Committee and Social Service League, as well as Town Manager Christopher Senior, who all wrote letters of support.
In their letter, the Social Service League of Cohasset commented on the CPD’s dedication to ethical and fair treatment of Cohasset’s residents, and how the department is “actively engaged in the community and in programs supported by the SSL, such as Safe Harbor Cohasset Substance Use Prevention Coalition, Cohasset Senior Café, and dry tailgating at Cohasset High School games, just to name a few.”
The Diversity Committee noted that “the Cohasset Police Department, under Chief Quigley’s leadership, is a bright spot in the community in these challenging times,” adding, “Cohasset is home to a progressive and proactive police department that demonstrates a commitment to a culture of respect and inclusion.”
The ABLE Project is guided by a Board of Advisors comprised of civil rights, social justice, and law enforcement leaders, including Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Commissioner Danielle Outlaw of the Philadelphia Police Department; Dr. Ervin Staub, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the founder of the Psychology of Peace and Justice Program; and an impressive collection of other police leaders, rank and file officers, and social justice leaders.
“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,” said Professor Christy Lopez, co-director of Georgetown Law’s Innovative Policing Program, which runs ABLE.
Chair of the ABLE Project Board of Advisors, Sheppard Mullin partner Jonathan Aronie, added, “Intervening in another’s action is harder than it looks after the fact, but it’s a skill we all can learn. And, frankly, it’s a skill we all need – police and non-police. ABLE teaches that skill.”
For more information about the ABLE Project, visit the program’s website.