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Courts / Law

Build Public Trust, Florida Police Chiefs Association Urges In Report On Better Policing

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St. Petersburg Police of Chief Anthony Holloway is the chair of the Florida Police Chiefs Association's Subcommittee on Accountability and Societal Change.

Its latest recommendations laid out a plan for law enforcement departments across the state to provide better transparency in the community when it comes to policies and data.

The Florida Police Chiefs Association recently published its set of recommendations for better policing.

Their "Subcommittee on Accountability and Societal Change" was created in response to George Floyd's murder last year.

St. Petersburg Chief of Police Anthony Holloway, the chair of the committee, said:

“This committee has come up with the best guidelines that can be used throughout the state of Florida for law enforcement agencies. Whether you're small, medium, or large-sized agency, it gives you the best procedure or best practices that can be followed throughout the state. So we're acting as one agency.”

Its latest recommendations laid out a plan for law enforcement departments across the state to build public trust. This includes the need for better transparency in the community when it comes to policies and data.

The Subcommittee then focused on reviewing six main "pillars" from the 2015 Final Report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, prepared by the federal Office of Community Oriented Policing Services:

  • Building Trust & Legitimacy
  • Policy & Oversight
  • Technology & Social Media Community Policing & Crime Reduction -Training & Education -Officer Wellness & Safety

Read the full report here.

“If you are an organization that does not constantly evolve, to support the people that you serve, then your organization is destined to fail,” said Tampa attorney Kareem Spratling. “Reform is necessary.”

The report emphasized the need for clear and consistent protocols around "use of force" - and the sanctity of human life.

It also expressed the need for more "less than lethal" arrest tools, like the Bola Wrap recently adopted by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

“We're not saying that this report is the answer to all,” said Paula Hoisington, executive director of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

“But it is the beginning of beginning to start having that conversation and beginning to start working together to build that bridge of openness and transparency, to build a bridge of unity to where both sides can work together to build bigger, better, stronger communities, working together with one common goal to make the community safer.

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