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IUPD officers now required to undergo bystander training

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — All 175 officers on the Indiana University Police Force will be required to take an eight-hour class called “ABLE,” which stands for Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement.

Hannah Skibba, IUPD Public Information Officer who is teaching the course at all nine campuses patrolled by IUPD, said, “Pinpointing scenarios where potential mistakes are made, where if another officer steps in they could prevent those mistakes from happening, and also cases of misconduct.”

The ABLE program was created by the Georgetown Law Center for Innovations in Community Safety. IUPD is the only university police department in the state to participate in the training. IMPD adopted the ABLE program at the end of 2020.

“Another pillar to the training is officer health and wellness, we know that healthier officers make better decisions and in turn make less mistakes,” Skibba said.

Skibba said some of the biggest fears officers tell her they have is confronting a peer who out ranks them.

“We are teaching our officers that it is expected and encouraged to step in intervene no matter what the rank is,” Skibba said .

Part of the training includes putting officers through various scenarios where they are quizzed on how they would act.

IUPD, the Jeffersonville Police Department in southern Indiana and the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office are the only other agencies in the state that officer this training.