EPIC Ethical Policing Is Courageous

What Is EPIC?

Ethical Policing Is Courageous (EPIC) is a peer intervention program developed by the NOPD, in collaboration with community partners, to promote a culture of high-quality and ethical policing. EPIC educates, empowers, and supports the officers on the streets to play a meaningful role in “policing” one another. EPIC is a peer intervention program that teaches officers how to intervene to stop a wrongful action before it occurs.

At its core, EPIC is an officer survival program, a community safety program, and a job satisfaction program. EPIC represents a cultural change in policing that equips, encourages, and supports officers to intervene to prevent misconduct and ensure high-quality policing. Everyone benefits when potential misconduct is not perpetrated or when a potential mistake is not made.

ABLE Project Train the Trainer Event

Late September

To Be Delivered via Zoom

Our team at the NOPD is excited to see a surge of interest in peer intervention from our colleagues in law enforcement throughout the country. To help us meet the growing demand for peer intervention training, the NOPD is working with the Georgetown University Law Center’s ABLE (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement) Project, a national police peer intervention program founded upon the success of EPIC. The NOPD is intimately involved in the work of the ABLE Project, as much of it is built upon the work we have been doing in New Orleans since we introduced our EPIC program in 2014. 

ABLE is offering a comprehensive active bystandership train-the-trainer event, to be delivered virtually via Zoom. This event, in which the NOPD will play an active role, will be provided at no cost to local law enforcement agencies, but those agencies will have to commit to creating a culture of active bystandership and peer intervention through policy, training, support, and accountability. To learn more about the train-the-trainer event, please visit the ABLE website.


“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”

—Mark Twain

How Does EPIC Work?

EPIC seeks to incorporate active bystandership into everything an officer does, and to provide officers with the tools and resources needed to do it well. EPIC strives to redefine police culture so that intervention to prevent or stop harmful action is not an exception to good team-work; it is the very definition of good teamwork. To do this, EPIC reaches throughout the NOPD and touches everything the Department does.  EPIC:

  • Redefines critical loyalty;
  • Changes (or at least adds to) what we look for in the officers we hire;
  • Trains officers and supervisors to identify danger signs;
  • Equips officers with the skills they need to intervene before problems occur/escalate, and to do so safely;
  • Supports and protects officers who do the right thing; and
  • Provides officers with resources to help them make ethical decisions.

The Department’s management is fully committed to peer intervention and to the key role it will play as we all work together to transform the NOPD into a premier law enforcement institution.

Training Materials


The materials provided here are available for use by law enforcement agencies across the country.

EPIC Overview

EPIC One-Page Overview

Additional Recommended Reading

Cook, Kevin. Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystander, the Crime that Changed America

Goodman, Nancy R. and Meyers, Marilyn B. The Power of Witnessing: Reflections, Reverberations, and Traces of the Holocaust: Trauma, Psychoanalysis, and the Living Mind

Staub, Ervin. The Roots of Goodness and Resistance to Evil: Inclusive Caring, Moral Courage, Altruism Born of Suffering, Active Bystandership, and Heroism.

In the news

Officers Share Their EPIC Stories

“I apprehended a subject who had fled the scene of a possible theft. The subject was face-down on the ground being handcuffed, at which time a deputy from another law enforcement agency quickly approached from the side, just out of my line of sight, and kicked the subject about the head area. I immediately told the deputy, ‘Stop and back away. We don’t do that here!’”

Sergeant Terrence Wilson, New Orleans Police Department


“In addition to promoting EPIC-style peer intervention principles in our department (Arlington, Texas - just under 700 sworn officers), we also expanded on those principles in a very innovative way.   We took our existing CIT program and flipped it to teach our officers how to recognize and react to emotional issues among other officers.  While most CIT programs are "outward looking," our CIT program now is outward AND inward looking.  It's an idea that is wholly consistent with the core principles of NOPD's EPIC program.”

Will Johnson, Chief of Police, Arlington, Texas



“In EPIC training, one of our role-play scenarios was about how to respond if a subject spits at you. The day after I took the training, I apprehended a subject who had previously evaded arrest. He was resisting being handcuffed, and as I was restraining him, he turned and spat right in my face. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. I was thinking, “We just talked about this!” I did what we had done in the role play – I turned the subject’s head away from me so he couldn’t do it again. I got him into the vehicle and took him to the station with no further incident.”

Detective Jeraire Bridges, New Orleans Police Department


Where Can I Learn More?

For more information, please reach out to EPIC Program at epic@nola.gov, or to Innovation Manager Faith B. Thornton at fthornton@nola.gov or at 504-330-6586. 

How Do I Share My Story?

We would be happy to read your stories of successful interventions. If you have an example of putting EPIC into practice, you may share it anonymously using this form.