Dixie State University Police become Utah’s First ABLE agency to help prevent misconduct

In a move to prevent misconduct, avoid mistakes and promote officer wellness, Dixie State University Police recently became the first agency in Utah to gain Active Bystander for Law Enforcement certification.

A nationwide best-practice initiative for law enforcement, the ABLE Project is a hub for training, technical assistance and research with the aim of creating a police culture in which law enforcement is empowered to intervene in officer-related situations to prevent them from becoming contentious.

“ABLE brings additional dedication to ethical and transparent policing practices while empowering all officers regardless of rank or tenure to step in and de-escalate situations that could escalate into use of force scenarios or verbal altercations,” Blair Barfuss, chief of police and director of public safety at Dixie State, said.

While Dixie State Police is currently the only ABLE-certified agency in Utah and one of only 200 in the nation, Barfuss hopes to change that. Both Barfuss and Corporal Ola Kaonohi are ABLE-certified instructors and are helping bring ABLE to multiple agencies statewide.

“The ABLE Project reduces police errors, complaints, use of force and mistakes while enhancing safety of officers and community members,” Barfuss said. “Implementing ABLE is a win-win for our community and our officers.”

To learn more about Dixie State University Police, visit publicsafety.utahtech.edu or for more information about the ABLE Project, visit law.georgetown.edu/cics/able.