ABLE Members Participate in Training Modules, Strategic Planning, Focused Leadership & Financial Planning Sessions
Normal, IL -- More than 60 Illinois State Police officers gathered earlier this month for the 27th Annual Illinois Association of Black Law Enforcement (ABLE) Conference held at the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Normal.
The Illinois Association of Black Law Enforcement (ABLE) is an organization comprised of 180 Black Illinois State Police officers, and serves as a valuable resource for leadership training and policing issues that affect law enforcement. The 27th Annual Training Conference and Meeting focused on topics selected by ABLE members: preventing bias-based policing, strategic planning, focused leadership, interview and assessment preparation, and financial planning.
“Every year, we strive to inform our members about the issues that have a direct impact on black officers within the ranks so that they are provided with the tools and knowledge for successful policing,” said Master Sergeant Danyelle Foster, President of the Illinois ABLE Chapter. “Lieutenants and above are always eager to hear the concerns of lower ranking officers,” she added.
Many of the officers expressed interest in the selected topics and greeted new leaders. The meeting also served as an opportunity for newly promoted officers to be recognized and congratulated by their peers.
“We identified relevant topics for officers of all ranks to strengthen their knowledge base,” said Foster. “This ultimately benefits the ISP as an agency with more well-rounded and focused officers serving every community.”
Officers of various ranks and experience arrived from different areas of the state to participate in workshops to enhance their professional development. Thomas Wheeler, ISP Senior Policy Advisor, represented ISP Director Hiram Grau and commended the organizers and associations like ABLE. “Organizations like NOBLE and ABLE support minority officers and provides them with the resources and tools that they need to be successful law enforcement leaders and administrators,” he said.
"I thought it was inspiring to see some of our upper command come out to teach at the training and share their own personal experiences," said Master Sergeant Christy White.
Particular attention was given to the importance of career development and education, being a mentor/protégé, and career diversity. Officers participated in mock assessments and interviews to improve their communications and leadership skills.
“For myself, as a Trooper with two years of experience, the ABLE Training was useful in helping me to begin the process of thinking about my personal career development,” said Trooper Javaris Pratt.
“The Annual ABLE Conference provides an excellent opportunity for black officers to gain knowledge, expand their careers, and meet other officers and ISP leaders,” said Foster. Foster stressed that the conference was successful, and that many goals were achieved through educating, enlightening, and empowering officers.