Orange County Citizen’s Advisory Committee says use of force policy needs adjustments, lists recommendations

Committee wants policies to further define chokeholds, include more training

File photo.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Sheriff’s Office Citizen’s Advisory Committee has submitted its use of force policy recommendations to Sheriff John Mina outlining improvements to the agency’s new duty to intervene policy.

The committee was tasked with reviewing the sheriff’s office use of force policies in June and share recommendations based on in-depth research on modern-day policing, law enforcement training, and current operations.

The committee is chaired by Allie Braswell with T. Mark Bassett as co-chair. Jean Sandor, Jay Smith, Pastor Sharon Riley, Russell Kilgore, Scott Boyd, Patricia Rumph and G. Denise Lewis are members of the committee. Its nine members met virtually during the coronavirus pandemic to formulate best practices and review the sheriff’s office policies.

After months of meetings and collecting public comments, the committee submitted their recommendations Aug. 28 addressing four policies.

Outlined in the committee’s letter to Sheriff Mina, the CAC said the agency needs to provide a definition of a chokehold and/or lateral vascular neck restraint. The sheriff’s office should also further clarify if and when chokeholds are permitted.

The second set of recommendations asks the sheriff’s office to revise its language surrounding its excessive force policy, the committee asking to include this policy directly with the agency’s overall use of force policy.

[MORE COVERAGE: Use of force policy update: Orange County deputies now have ‘duty to intervene’]

OCSO recently added duty to intervene in June, when it tasked the CAC to review its use of force policies. The CAC believes the newly added protocol should clearly convey the requirements for deputies to intervene, require intervention to be immediate, and change the policy’s language to require law enforcement to intervene before matters escalate.

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