ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Advisory Committee is expected to finalize and vote on recommendations it’s making for the agency’s use of force policy during its meeting on Thursday.
Chairperson Allie Braswell said the committee has worked for months to come up with the recommendations.
“We spent time over the last few weeks being educated on the policy. We’ve asked for further clarifications on some of the areas we thought to be a bit ambiguous,” he said.
Braswell couldn’t share specific recommendations ahead of the meeting, but he said these discussions started in June when the sheriff asked the committee to review the policy.
He adds recent events across the country also sparked the conversation.
“It was time to review these policies,” Braswell said.
The committee is meeting virtually Thursday night, nearly three weeks after an Orange County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Salaythis Melvin outside the Florida Mall.
Braswell said the committee is not expected to discuss that case during its meeting. He said they won’t get the opportunity to review it until after the FDLE, the State Attorney’s Office, and the sheriff’s office completes their investigations, which is standard procedure.
But once those investigations are done, he expects the committee will review the findings.
“Based upon their findings, if we find opportunities for changes to policy or that we may not be in agreement with the findings, we have the ability to make a recommendation,” he said.
As for the use of force policy changes, if the committee votes in favor of the recommendations, they will send those over to the sheriff who has the final say.
“I don’t anticipate a great delay or any type of push back from what we’re recommending,” Braswell said.
He adds citizens advisory committees are needed now more than ever.
“I believe these bodies will become even more important based upon the current unrest that we’ve seen,” Braswell said.
The citizens advisory committee virtual meeting starts at 6 p.m. Click here for more information.