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Orlando police display officer training

Chief John Mina enlists FBI help in education

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Chief John Mina said consultants will visit the Orlando Police Department in a couple weeks to review its policies across the board, with special attention being paid to the policy on excessive force.

Two Orlando police officers are currently facing criminal charges stemming from allegations of excessive force. The department is also facing a federal lawsuit.

Mina said he is bringing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation to brief his officers on ethics and civil rights violations.

Friday, the chief invited the media and members of the department's Citizens Review Board to experience the "shoot or don't shoot" training his officers experience four times per year.

"I just wanted to see and wanted to participate in what actually goes on, and (see) how quickly they have to make a judgment," said review board member Pati Howard.

Howard experienced hand-to-hand combat, as well as scenarios that put her in a dangerous situation with pretend "bad guys."

Part of her job on the review board is to make sure the department's internal affairs department thoroughly investigates its own officers.

Having experienced the training, she said she understands how there is a fine line between officers responding with proper force and excessive force.

"I think you can get zealous," she said. "I think that's the problem. You can get overzealous. I think maybe you don't have the experience, and that's what happens sometimes."


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