ORLANDO, Fla. — 213 police agencies across the U.S. are part of what is called the “ABLE project.”
The acronym stands for Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement.
The training is intended to get officers to intervene if they see misconduct by fellow officers.
The Orlando Police Department was selected for the training, but as Channel 9 investigative reporter Shannon Butler found out, they were just kicked out.
The program is all about making sure officers intervene when they see something that is not right with another officer.
In this case, the programs trainer said something when he felt something wasn’t right at his department, and that telling got him removed from training.
The coordinators then kicked the Orlando Police Department out because they said the department was not operating in the spirt of the program.
In May of 2021, Channel 9 reported on the Orlando Police Department’s national effort to help improve police-community relations by participating in this training.
“We all, regardless of rank, have a duty to say something when we see one of our officers not having one of their best days,” said Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon in May of 2021.
However, less than a year later, Orlando police have had to stop the training at the request of the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement team.
Sources tell Channel 9 the police officers were not taking the full eight hours of the class as required by ABLE.
According to a letter sent to the chief by the program director, back in September, the instructor, an Orlando police Lt., raised concerns about the “fidelity to the ABLE core curriculum.”
In October, the instructor was removed from training duties.
Then in early November, the director said an ABLE team member did a classroom observation and confirmed what the instructor said was true.
Lisa Kurtz said that chief Rolon also confirmed that the trainer was removed because he told the ABLE team asked Orlando police to reconsider, writing, “We explained that we felt the officer had followed the ABLE framework by delegating an intervention regarding our curriculum to our team, and emphasized that we have no tolerance for retaliation in response to an intervention.”
But Rolon stuck to his decision, so Kurtz wrote, “The Orlando Police Department is not operating in a manner consistent with the letter or the spirit of the ABLE standards. We therefore feel compelled to remove the Orlando Police Department from the ABLE program.”
See more in the video above.
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