Can police be taught to stop their own violence?
"Boston’s department and others are adopting a peer-intervention training program. The ideas come from a UMass psychologist who survived the Holocaust, thanks to the help of others."
Partner Jonathan Aronie spoke with The Boston Globe about creating Project ABLE (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement) with Georgetown University Law Center's Innovative Policing Program. ABLE supports law enforcement agencies across the country in building a successful culture of peer intervention, also known as active bystandership.
The goal of the training is not only to teach a technique, but to permeate a department’s culture. “We make this mistake of not understanding how powerful the inhibitors are, even among good people,” Aronie says. “We explain it away by telling ourselves that the cops who don’t intervene are bad people. But plenty of times, they’re not. Would you say that nurses who don’t intervene when a surgeon makes a mistake are all evil? Of course not. Our approach is to give officers the skills and tactics to make it easier to intervene.”