The ULM police department is working to improve campus policing culture through a new program called Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement.
The ABLE Project, developed by the New Orleans Police Department, has three main purposes—to reduce use of force incidents, improve officer wellness and reduce errors.
Director of Police Tom Torregrossa and Assistant Director Mark Johnson were both trained in ABLE at Georgetown Law last month, along with psychologist and criminal justice professor Mkay Bonner.
The train-the-trainer program took one week and then the three were able to train the rest of the ULM Police Department.
Bonner is one of only seven national ABLE instructors. She’s trained officers from the various police departments and the FBI National Academy.
“[Torregrossa] wanted to make certain that he remained committed to providing the best training possible for his department while protecting the campus community we all love so much,” Bonner said.
According to Johnson, ABLE training will help maintain the public’s trust in the UPD and provide the best services possible to the community.
Johnson said officers learn through lectures and hands-on roleplay.
The training of UPD was done on two Warhawk Days with each section lasting eight hours.
Torregrossa said the department is excited for the new training.
“ULM’s criminal justice, psychology and police departments hope to serve as a resource for area agencies to enhance their knowledge and public safety commitments regarding improved public relationships,” Torregrossa said.