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Courts / Law

Hillsborough NAACP And Law Enforcement Agencies Pledge To Work Together

Hillsborough County NAACP President Yvette Lewis speaks at a press conference, joined by county law enforcement leaders and the Florida ACLU.
Bradley George/WUSF
Hillsborough County NAACP President Yvette Lewis speaks at a press conference, joined by county law enforcement leaders and the Florida ACLU.

The Hillsborough County NAACP and the county’s law enforcement agencies say they’re ready to work together on police reform.

They’ve outlined five major changes including a ban on chokeholds, de-escalation training, and having the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigate officer-involved shootings. 

The policies apply to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the police departments in Tampa, Temple Terrace, and at the University of South Florida. 

“It's about trust through transparency,” Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said Wednesday.  “It's about each and every one of us as law enforcement leaders, taking an introspective look into our departments to see where we can improve and how far we've come. But more importantly, how much more work has to be done.” 

police reform proposals
Credit Bradley George/WUSF
Hillsborough County's law enforcement agencies agreed to implement these five proposals (click to enlarge)

NAACP leaders, along with the Florida ACLU, met with Chronister and other law enforcement officials last week. The group pledged to meet each month to monitor reforms and build trust.

Yvette Lewis, president of the Hillsborough County NAACP, says there’s a lot of work to be done.  

“When we all sat down at the table, we didn't have trust in each other,” she said. “But when we left that table, it felt better. Did it feel good? It felt better. I was able to sleep.” 

The NAACP is also pushing for changes to Tampa’s police review board. Lewis says the board has little power to change department policy.