Citizens Advisory Committee discuss use-of-force training with Orange County Sheriff’s Office

Agency holds yearly use-of-force training; Florida requires it every 4 years

Orange County Sheriff's Office cruiser.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Sheriff's Office Citizens Advisory Committee met virtually on Thursday evening to address concerns with use of force and training.

At the beginning of the meeting with the nine-member board, Sheriff John Mina told the committee that he was open to recommendations in order to improve the agency.

Committee member Jean Sandor said during the meeting that she understands the committee’s responsibility.

“It is really important to us and the community to know that we are there for them,” Sandor said.

During the meeting, members asked questions to members of the Sheriff’s Office who oversea discipline and training. The agency told the committee that it conducts use of force training on a yearly basis, despite the Florida only requiring it be conducted once every four years.

Board members also said that they feel their concerns for the past couple years have been addressed by the sheriff.

"Every recommendation that we have sent forward has been adopted and put into policy. I can not think of one that was not," said committee member Mark Bassett.

[ RELATED COVERAGE: Use of force policy update: Orange County deputies now have ‘duty to intervene’ | Meet the Citizen Review Board, the people who help police the Orlando police]

Questions also arose regarding OCSO's policy on choke holds. The sheriff's office told the group that choke holds are prohibited, unless lethal force is necessary.

The group also addressed protesters’ calls to “defund the police.”

Committee member Patricia Rumph said that she feels taking away from the agency’s budget will reduce the amount of education deputies receive.

“You can’t say train the officers and defund police because the first thing that is going to go when you cut back on the budget is training,” Rumph said.

A representative for the deputies’ union also said the union is still considering it’s next step after filing an official grievance regarding a new requirement for deputies to intervene being added to the department’s policy.

The new protocol requires deputies to step in when seeing “disproportionate use of force” by a fellow deputy.

The union has said it doesn’t agree with the wording of the policy and it wasn’t given proper notice before it was instated.

About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.