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City of Orlando - Policy Changes to Increase Trust Between OPD, Community

City of Orlando - Policy Changes to Increase Trust Between OPD, Community

City of OrlandoDear Community Leader,  

Following the horrific killing of George Floyd and too many other Black Americans, the City of Orlando committed to a thorough review of police use of force policies to ensure that all residents, regardless of race or any social or personal characteristics, are treated with dignity and respect. 
 

As part of this effort, I took a pledge from former President Obama and the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to take steps to build greater trust between the Orlando Police Department and our community. Today during a City Council Workshop, OPD Chief Orlando Rolón provided an update on OPD’s use of force policy enhancements and the changes that we’re making.  
 

At the forefront of these policies is the requirement that officers employ de-escalation tactics to minimize the need to use force during an incident. OPD policies already in place include:  

If it becomes necessary for an officer to apply force, OPD’s policies follow a use of force continuum, meaning that officers should only use the level of force necessary to regain control of a situation.  If it is necessary for an officer to apply force, and another officer is present, that officer has a “duty to intervene” and either stop or attempt to stop an officer when force is inappropriately used or no longer required.  An officer should consider all non-lethal options before shooting.   An officer should never shoot at moving vehicles.  A supervisor is required to investigate anytime an officer uses force.  

I have directed Chief Rolón to make additional changes to our policies, including:  

Banning the use of chokeholds and neck restraints.Requiring officers to issue a verbal warning – when safe and practical – before shooting.  Prohibiting “no knock” warrants. 

While we recognize that changes in policy are necessary, we also acknowledge that our work is not done. That is why we are looking at taking additional actions, including partnering with mental health agencies to respond to specific calls for service for those experiencing mental health issues.  
 

I am committed and the City of Orlando is committed to working to ensure that every person who lives here feels equally protected, equally valued and has equal access to opportunity. But I also know that this can only be achieved if we remove barriers and center the experiences of people who have been historically marginalized.
 

Thank you for your partnership in those efforts, your leadership and the role that you play in making our community a better place for all who call Orlando home. 


Sincerely,  


Buddy Dyer 
Mayor 

Writer
Category: Editorials
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