Sikeston DPS trains for Active Bystander Law-Enforcement

SIKESTON, Mo. (KBSI) – In 2020, George Floyd was killed leaving many to consider whether the police tactics used were appropriate or not.

The Sikeston Department of Public Safety (DPS) is seeking to find a solution through a special police training course.

The course is ABLE, an acronym for Active Bystander Law-Enforcement. This teaches officers how to act properly around bystanders.

“Well, I’ve been in law-enforcement for about 26 years and when I first got into law enforcement there was a certain culture with law-enforcement you know some things you kind of kept quiet and you didn’t address, you know, minor misconduct issues things like that,” explained Jon Broom, Patrol Captain for the Sikeston DPS.

The officers will develop peer-based skills. Two main skills they work on, are peer intervention and prevention of misconduct by fellow officers.

“And also, I think it helps reduce mistakes that we see,” says James McMillen, Chief of Police for Sikeston DPS. “I think it helps reduce just misconduct and that’s what I really want is to create an environment here so officers will engage into it’s kind of the professional standards that we want for our agency.”

The hope is for other law-enforcement agencies to use this training as well.

“I am really proud of this because I know there’s two departments in the state right now that are participating in this ABLE program,” continued Chief McMillen. “That’s St. Louis County and Sikeston DPS. I think you’re going to see the spreading more across the nation and we’re just looking forward to seeing the benefits from it.”

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