ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office has been accepted into the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project. The ABLE Project is a national training and support initiative for U.S. law enforcement agencies committed to building a culture of peer intervention that prevents harm. The Georgetown University Law Center developed the Project with global law firm Sheppard Mullin LLP..
The ABLE Project is guided by a board of advisors comprised of civil rights, social justice, and law enforcement leaders. It has been tested in the field and is a strategy to stop officer misconduct, decrease mistakes, and promote health and wellness.
Sheriff Dana Lawhorne said seeking to join ABLE reflected important priorities for the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office.
“I have always been open to any initiative that improves our ability to meet the expectations of our community,” said Sheriff Lawhorne. “That’s why we aggressively sought to be a part of this. It’s important to us as an agency, it’s important to the community we serve.”
By demonstrating a commitment to transformational reform, the Sheriff’s Office, with support from community leaders, joins a group of 34 other law enforcement agencies and training academies chosen to participate in the ABLE’s national rollout.
Alexandria leaders who backed the Sheriff’s Office joining the program included Mayor Justin Wilson, Correctional Services Advisory Board Chair Amy Reed, and Human Rights Commission Vice Chair Matt Harris. The three wrote letters of support.
Harris expressed his appreciation for the “efforts of ABLE’s founders and team members to help change law enforcement culture so that officers and deputies would routinely intervene as needed. [The approach] would surely improve outcomes for law enforcement officers and for the people they serve.”