O.C. Police Dept. Selected as Partner in ABLE Training

O.C. Police Dept. Selected as Partner in ABLE Training

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Ocean City is the first certified agency in the Cape-Atlantic Region to join the ABLE Project.

The Ocean City Police Department has been accepted to join the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project as a partner agency.

Backed by prominent civil rights and law enforcement leaders, ABLE was developed by Georgetown Law’s Innovative Policing Program to provide practical strategies and tactics for officers to prevent misconduct, reduce mistakes, and promote health and wellness, according to a city release Wednesday.

Ocean City is the first certified agency in the Cape-Atlantic Region and is one of just 17 of New Jersey’s 550 law enforcement agencies to be certified.

“The people of Ocean City trust our officers to keep them safe, and we will always be committed to developing the best practices,” Police Chief Jay Prettyman said. “Our acceptance as an ABLE Project partner is an honor, and I’m excited to support the continued growth of our men and women as professionals and public servants.”

The successful application through Georgetown Law was achieved with help from the entire Ocean City community. Ocean City’s application was backed by letters of support from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6650 in Ocean City, American Legion Post 524 in Ocean City, and Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian.

“I’ve always been proud that our department is part of our community and not just a law enforcement agency,” Gillian said. “This program will help ensure that our officers have the tools to avoid harmful situations.”

Law enforcement officers frequently are faced with high-stress and high-stakes decisions, the ABLE believes it is the responsibility of every officer to prevent mistakes, prevent misconduct and promote their fellow officers’ health and well-being.

The Ocean City Police Department has committed to the 10 ABLE Standards and have certified instructors available to the department from within the agency as well as from surrounding agencies.

ABLE’s 10 standards are: reduce unnecessary harm to civilians, reduce unnecessary harm to officers, reduce risk of officers losing their jobs, reducing risk of lawsuits against the department, the city, and individual officers, improved police/community relations, improve officer health and wellness, improve officer job satisfaction, improve citizen satisfaction with their law enforcement agency.

The department has provided, and will continue provide at least annually, meaningful training to both full-time and seasonal officers emphasizing not only the legal duty to intervene, but specific tools, skills and techniques for how to intervene, the release states.