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HomeVoorhees NewsMayor's Message: Voorhees Police joins the ABLE Project

Mayor’s Message: Voorhees Police joins the ABLE Project

The Voorhees Township Police Department has been accepted into the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project, a national training and support initiative for law enforcement agencies to transform their approach to policing by building a culture that supports and sustains successful peer intervention to prevent harm.

Our Police Department joins a select group of 70 other law enforcement agencies from across the country to implement this evidence-based and field-tested initiative, developed by the Georgetown University Law Innovative Policing Program.

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ABLE provides practical active strategies and tactics to law enforcement officers to prevent misconduct, reduce mistakes and promote health and wellness. The program teaches police officers skills they will need to be able to intervene in another person’s actions, both police and non-police.

To qualify for the ABLE program, our Police Department was required to commit to 10 ABLE standards, including garnering community support, conducting meaningful training, dedicating personnel to coordinate the program, departmental program awareness, accountability, officer wellness, developing reporting policies and procedures, measuring officer outcomes, program follow-through and paying it forward.

The program will include training in social science, use of force, stop/search/arrest, report writing, traffic stops, vehicle pursuits and the development of an active awareness program, including the principles of peer intervention in public safety.

Police accountability will include a strong anti-retaliation policy to ensure interveners are not punished, targeted or ostracized and matters will be promptly and fully investigated without retaliation. The Voorhees Police Department wellness program already exceeds the ABLE requirements. Voorhees officers participate in automatic annual mental wellness visits, automatic critical incident debriefings and have access to EAP and MAPPS programs.

The Voorhees Township Police Department continues to pursue self-improvement through a philosophy of community policing and has been a leader for area police departments. We were one of the first police departments in South Jersey to outfit all of our officers with body worn cameras.

Last year, the police department became one of the few departments in South Jersey to earn a three-year accreditation with the New Jersey Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission. We are also proud that Police Chief Lou Bordi is the 2021 President of the State Association of Chiefs of Police.

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