ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Police Department is showing News 6 how it trains its officers to take people into custody and explaining recent actions taken during protests.
Sgt. David Haddock said the first thing officers try to do when making an arrest is to control the person’s actions.
“We would have an officer try to press the torso down to where they cannot move freely,” Haddock said.
Haddock said officers would put their hands on the person’s shoulders or waist. He adds sometimes an officer would put their knee on the person’s shoulder blades, but never the neck.
He said multiple officers may have to work together to take someone into custody.
"The more officers we can have in place and coordinate our actions and split the body into hemispheres or sections, each officer can use less strength, less power to control that individual portion of the body and still accomplish the same task,” Haddock said.
Haddock said OPD has been using this technique for five years. He said it has reduced the number of injuries to officers and those arrested.
Capt. Lane Rich showed News 6 some of the body camera videos captured by officers during recent protests. He explained how they respond during the situations.
"We go in steps. we have layers. Our actions are dictated by what their actions are. If they don't throw anything, we don't react,” Lane said.
OPD said once curfew hits, they ask people to leave and then use smoke. If protesters are still gathering, Lane said they use a chemical agent made of chili peppers.
Police hope by being transparent, the community will have a better understanding of their actions during demonstrations.
"It’s important for the safety of our officers, but most importantly it’s for the safety of the person we’re dealing with, keeping them safe in these situations,” Haddock said.