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Politics / Issues

Key Findings From Mayor Castor’s Community Task Force On Policing

Tampa Police headquarters
Thomas Iacobucci
/
WUSF Public Media
The Tampa Police Department has begun to integrate some of the recommendations from the Mayor's Community Task Force on Policing.

Mayor Jane Castor established a task force last year in an attempt to change the Tampa Police Department by improving relations with the public, as well as beginning changes to police training.

The Mayor’s Community Task Force on Policing revealed its key findings last August, and has since then been working to implement some of the recommendations.

Bryanna Fox is an associate professor of criminology at the University of South Florida, where she has led the meetings of the task force that focused on enhancing the Tampa Police Department.

She spoke at a web meeting Tuesday afternoon and said some of the items have already been enacted by the department.

“Things such as putting all of the crime data on the website; calls for service, complaints, and officer misconduct. All of that is now available online.” said Fox. “This was one of the recommendations we made in terms of increasing transparency, accountability and oversight.”

Many of the items listed on the Task Force website are still in the process of being established, Fox said.

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan talked about the department's efforts to implement new training methods.

“Some of the training we’ve been doing (includes) what we call cohort training, which is when community organizers help officers restore trust.” said Dugan.

Dugan also mentioned that the department is starting to integrate the ICAT model into their training.“

The ICAT Model is focused on communication and de-escalation.” said Dugan. “We’re hoping to bring it to the entire Bay area.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a new anti-rioting bill that is in sharp contrast to the de-escalation methods suggested by the task force.

When asked about the recently passed bill, Dugan said the department will give everyone the opportunity to “express their First Amendment rights.”

“Hopefully we can avoid making any arrests.” Dugan added.

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