(The Center Square) – A 12-member Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) panel will recommend statewide police reforms beyond those identified in the 8 Can’t Wait guidelines the association’s 900 law enforcement members approved last week.
FBCA will direct its new Subcommittee on Accountability and Societal Change to maintain a sustained review of policing policies and tactics.
“I’m pleased to announce that as its first action, the FPCA’s Subcommittee on Accountability and Societal Change cited the 8 Can’t Wait plan as a starting point,” FPCA President and Temple Terrace Police Department Chief Kenneth Albano said in a statement.
“In an effort to increase consistency, accountability, and transparency, we intend to begin working on best practices language, using the 8 Can’t Wait plan as a guide, to create standardized procedures that can be implemented statewide,” Albano said.
St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway will chair the subcommittee, which also will include Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Pritt, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan, Florida State University Police Chief Terri Brown, Miami Beach Police Major David De La Espriella and University of South Florida Department of Criminology professor Lorie Fridell.
“This is just the beginning,” Albano said. “Moving forward, next steps will include working with the community leaders participating on this subcommittee, as well as our citizenry across the state, to address myriad societal issues and concerns that continue to contribute to the creation of negative encounters between members of our communities and their police officers.”
FPCA said last week it was responding to calls for policing reforms and improved relationships between police and communities demanded in protests and demonstrations nationwide and across Florida that were spurred by the May 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
The FCPA’s 8 Can’t Wait guidelines are:
• Ban chokeholds and strangleholds;
• Require officers to de-escalate, where possible, by communicating, maintaining distance, and reducing need for force;
• Require officers to give a verbal warning in all situations before using deadly force;
• Require officers to exhaust all alternatives, including nonforce and less lethal force, before resorting to deadly force;
• Require officers to intervene, stop excessive force by other officers, and report incidents immediately;
• Ban officers shooting at moving vehicles;
• Create “force continuums” that restrict severe force to the most extreme situations, and create clear restrictions on use of each police weapon and tactic;
• Require officers to report each time they use force or threaten to use force against civilians.
Police chiefs and sheriffs across Florida, in general, have acknowledged there is need for police reform in many communities, although the impetus for reform is not new in the state. A start-and-stall criminal justice reform campaign has been raising many of the same issues – but from a financial, return-on-investment perspective – as those protesting police brutality.
Hallandale Police Chief Sonia Quiñones knelt with protesters during a demonstration in her Broward County city last week, prompting 10 members of the force’s SWAT team to resign.
The 10 officers tendered their resignations from the SWAT team Friday but remain on the city’s 102-member police force.
Quiñones accepted the resignations Monday and said it was unclear whether the city will form a new SWAT team since it had been called out only eight times in the past three years .
In their resignation memo, the officers wrote they were undertrained, didn’t have enough equipment and Quiñones knelt last week with Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Sabrina Javellana as she called to reopen a 2014 case in which the SWAT team killed a black man in a no-knock warrant raid on his home looking for narcotics.