MAYS LANDING- This week, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office begins ICAT (Integrating Communication, Assessment, and Tactics) and ABLE (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement) training for 1,044 law enforcement officers in Atlantic County, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Cary Shill announced.
The first session of training begins September 21 to Sept. 23, 2021. The training of Atlantic County’s 1,044 officers is expected to be ongoing for one year.
This ICAT and ABLE training is mandated by the New Jersey State Attorney General’s Office in preparation for the implementation of the state’s new Use of Force policy effective Dec. 31, 2021. The mandated training is coordinated by each county prosecutor’s office and consists of three days. Stockton University has graciously provided the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office with classroom space to hold the training sessions that are limited to 30 students per session.
“Instructors from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and from other police departments in Atlantic County will work diligently to effectively and adequately train over 1,000 law enforcement officers in Atlantic County. It is imperative that these very necessary ICAT and ABLE trainings get underway as the state’s revised Use of Force Policy, takes effect on December 31, and substantially overhauls the responsibilities of law enforcement officers when interacting with the public,” Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Investigators.
“We graciously thank Stockton University for their cooperative efforts in providing a space for the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and our county’s law enforcement officers to complete this important training,” Chief DeShields said.
In December 2020, Attorney General Directive 2020-13 announced the first revision to the statewide “Use of Force Policy” in two decades (“Revised Policy”). The Revised Policy, which takes effect on December 31, 2021, substantially overhauls the responsibilities of law enforcement officers when interacting with the public.
To ensure that all police officers are appropriately trained on their new responsibilities under the Revised Policy, New Jersey’s over 38,000 state, county, and municipal law enforcement officers will attend training that covers the changes in the Revised Policy, as well as de-escalation techniques and other tactics aimed at limiting the use of force.
These trainings (collectively, the “New UOF Trainings”) will include:
• Eight comprehensive training modules (online)
• Integrating Communication, Assessment, and Tactics (“ICAT”) course developed by the Police Executive Research Forum
• Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (“ABLE”) course developed by Georgetown University and others.
ICAT is a new way of thinking about use-of-force training for police officers that provides first responding police officers with the tools, skills, and options they need to successfully and safely defuse a range of critical incidents. Developed by PERF with input from hundreds of police professionals from across the United States, ICAT takes the essential building blocks of critical thinking, crisis intervention, communications, and tactics, and puts them together in an integrated approach to training.
ICAT is designed especially for situations involving persons who are unarmed or are armed with weapons other than firearms, and who may be experiencing a mental health or other crisis. The training program is anchored by the Critical Decision-Making Model that helps officers assess situations, make safe and effective decisions, and document and learn from their actions. ICAT incorporates different skill sets into a unified training approach that emphasizes scenario-based exercises, as well as lecture and case study opportunities.
Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project
Building upon a training developed by Dr. Ervin Staub, the Founding Director of a program on the psychology of peace and violence, to help police officers stop unnecessary harmful behavior by fellow officers, in 2014, Dr. Staub, other consultants, and the New Orleans Police Department developed the EPIC (Ethical Policing Is Courageous) Peer Intervention Program. The ABLE Project builds upon EPIC and Dr. Staub’s prior work to develop and deliver practical, scenario-based training for police agencies in the strategies and tactics of police peer intervention. The ABLE Project guides agencies and communities on the concrete measures that must be in place to create and sustain a culture of peer intervention.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.