ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando police officers are starting a new training program focused on getting results by building a culture of what the agency calls peer intervention to prevent people from getting hurt.
“We were one of the less than a hundred in the nation approved to receive this training,” Chief Orlando Rolón said.
Rolón said the department was accepted into the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement Program.
It’s a program that teaches the importance of intervention and de-escalation.
“All this is, is continuing that emphasis to be your Brother’s Keeper and being in every aspect of law enforcement it’s not what people want to see that duty to intervene on that excessive use of force situation, that’s such a rare occurrence,” Sgt. Chet Culey, a facilitator in the training unit explained.
The ABLE program goes by these three pillars of reducing mistakes, preventing misconduct and promoting health and wellness.
“Encouraging officers to be there for one another, not just on the calls but between the calls, after work, after the shift is over. We do a phenomenal job at intervention for you the public; we don’t always do it as well for one another,” Culey said.
Orlando police said despite the timing, this training does not follow the protests that took place last summer or recent legislation calling for police accountability.
The department said they were already training officers in intervention and de-escalation tactics, but this training does open the door for tougher conversations.
“There are opportunities that may present themselves for us to intervene, but at times because of our culture, we have been somewhat hesitant,” Rolón said. “The great thing is that we are talking about it more than ever.”
The training is set to go through the rest of the week and more related training is expected in the near future as Orlando police say they are doing their best to improve to better serve the community.