Hillsborough County Law Enforcement Meeting With NAACP and ACLU Today

Hillsborough County Law Enforcement Agencies Announce Plan To Begin Addressing Community Demands on Policing as Calls for Defunding Police and Restructuring Tampa Citizen Review Board Continues To Grow

June 24, 2020

By: Press Release

TAMPA Fla. – As protests continue in Tampa for a fourth straight week, Hillsborough Law Enforcement Agencies Announce plans to work with the NAACP and ACLU to begin addressing policy and procedure concerns.

“We continue to call for a real Citizen Review Board in Tampa that is not controlled by the mayor,” said Yvette Lewis, President of the Hillsborough NAACP, “but we are happy to begin a separate dialogue on policing practices with local law enforcement agencies that we hope will bring some much needed change to our community.”

WHEN:

Wednesday, June 24, 10AM

WHO: 

Hillsborough County NAACP President Yvette Lewis 

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan and Assistant Chief Ruben Delgado 

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister 

Temple Terrace Police Chief Kenneth Albano 

USF Police Chief Chris Daniels 

Plant City Police Chief Ed Duncan

Greater Tampa Chapter ACLU President Gretchen R. Cothron, Esq. 

Tampa PBA President Darla Portman

WHERE:

Tampa Park Plaza 

1417 Tampa Park Plaza 

Tampa, FL 33605  

Law Enforcement contacted the NAACP to set up a meeting after a June 9 press conference held by the NAACP and ACLU calling for a completely revamped independent police review board with investigatory power. The Tampa City Council will be discussing this issue in a proposed workshop next month. In the meantime, Hillsborough Law Enforcement Agencies are agreeing to step up and uniformly implement initial policies and will meet monthly with the ACLU and NAACP to discuss several additional policy proposals put forward by the community. 

“This is a start,” the ACLU said in a statement. “But the underlying problem isn’t the lack of training and procedures. The core issue is the broadening of the scope of responsibilities given to law enforcement agencies which has led to the unlawful use of excessive force and the killing of black people. It is time to divest from law enforcement and reinvest in the Black and Brown communities they unjustly target.” 

The policy proposals agreed on thus far by all Hillsborough County Law Enforcement agencies are as follows:

  1. Duty to Intervene: All officers would have a duty to intervene and stop other officers when they witness the use of excessive force or a violation of other Standard Operating Procedures. All officers would also have a duty to report the use of excessive force or other violations of the Standard Operating Procedures. The required report will be filed without any retaliation.
  1. FDLE Oversight: When a fatal shooting or an “in custody death†occurs immediately appoint an independent investigator – When a fatal shooting or an “in custody death†occurs in Hillsborough County, an independent investigator from the FDLE will be appointed to investigate the fatality.  At the conclusion of the investigation and/or prosecution, the independent investigator shall provide a report to the public with the findings of fact and conclusions of law.
  1. Uniform Policies and Procedures for all Hillsborough County Law Enforcement Departments: Implement Uniform Policies, Procedures, and Training Concerning Crowd Control at Protests: A. Present uniform protest and crowd control training so all law enforcement agencies in Hillsborough County handle lawful protests and crowd control in a uniform manner. B. Require Officers to Engage in Uniform De-escalation Training: Train all Hillsborough County Law Enforcement Agencies to utilize uniform de-escalation techniques and require continuing education periodically in the use of those techniques. C. Ban the Use of Chokeholds and Neck Restraints: Ban the use of Chokehold and Neck Restraints, unless someone’s life is in immediate peril. D. Require Exhaustion of all Non-Lethal Force Options. All officers will be regularly trained on to how to exhaust all non-lethal force options, when possible, to avoid the use of lethal force. E. Annual Implicit Bias Education, Training and Re-training. Annual education and re-education programs to make officers aware of the problems associated with implicit biases and training them in techniques to overcome such biases.
  1. Expanded Use of Body Cameras and Squad Car Cameras: Hillsborough County Law Enforcement Agencies will endeavor to expand the use of body cameras and squad car cameras and will seek funding to do so.

     5. Continue and Expand Community Policing: Hillsborough County Law Enforcement Agencies will continue to use community policing techniques, in addition to regularly consulting with local leaders on innovative ways to build trust and improve the relationship with the community. 

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