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UPD leads initiative to improve law enforcement culture; ready to assist area agencies



MONROE, La. – The University of Louisiana Monroe Police Department (UPD) is at the forefront of creating a new culture among law enforcement and is now exceptionally positioned to serve as a mentor to area agencies seeking to do the same.

The two top officials with UPD, Director Tom Torregrossa and Assistant Director Mark Johnson, with ULM Criminal Justice and Psychology Associate Professor Mkay Bonner, Ph.D., are newly certified trainers in the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project. They recently completed the week-long Train-the-Trainer course from Georgetown Law.


The ABLE Project is an initiative committed to improving the police culture through peer prevention that promotes professionalism and reduces unnecessary use of force.


Torregrossa said the entire ULM Police Department would receive the ABLE Project training by April.


“The training is designed not only to reduce unnecessary use of force incidents but to improve the culture of policing and reinforce trust among the campus and community populations they serve,” he said.


According to Torregrossa, examining and implementing innovative practices that keep professionalism and public service at the forefront of an agency’s mission is an ongoing challenge for any public service entity.

ULM’s accomplishment of having certified trainers for the ABLE Project makes UPD, and the region, a catalyst for change by implementing cutting-edge, evidence-based, and field-tested policing practices.


“ABLE Project training has great potential to assist law enforcement, and we are excited to bring this training to our university and the surrounding communities,” said Torregrossa. “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.”