ORLANDO, Fla. – Nearly a year after Orlando city officials hired a company to do an independent review on the police department, results from the study came in on Monday.
Dr. Theron Bowman from the Bowman group presented more than 200 recommendations Monday to the Orlando City Council after a thorough review completed by him and his team over the past year.
The independent review came after protesters across the country and in Central Florida took to the streets following the death of George Floyd demanding change and transparency in policing.
Some of the findings included making the use of force policy review process more robust, better utilizing the Citizens’ Police review board, and strengthening community policing and training.
Dr. Bowman, a former Texas police chief, spoke heavily also about his findings of the lack of data collection with the Orlando Police Department, especially when it comes to traffic stops.
“We expected to see much more robust data and we didn’t,” Dr. Bowman said.
“OPD does not collect data on all stops,” the report states. “OPD does not require the documentation of searches of any type.”
“They have some capabilities to do it right now, but they just don’t ask the officers to capture that data,” Bowman said.
Dr. Bowman and his team spent the past year doing an independent review of OPD after community interviews and reviewing the department’s training and policies.
Caila Coleman said the lack of OPD data is alarming. She’s a Parramore resident and the chairwoman for the Orlando Citizens’ Police review board.
“I was pretty taken aback, especially when they didn’t have enough data when it came to traffic stops,” Coleman said. “
Coleman said the most common interaction spot for a citizen and an officer is during a traffic stop.
“It’s also the most dangerous times for a police officer, so the fact that OPD is not keeping data on these traffic stops is really alarming.”
“Part of the information is being collected, but it’s here in an affidavit, here in an information report, not that way that it should be structured,” Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said.
Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill said she wants to see more data too, including demographic data when it comes to traffic stops.
“I [the city council] paid 800 thousand for facts and numbers,” Hill said.
The city said it will take years to fully carry out these recommendations. The city budgeted nearly $800,000 for the review. You can read the full review below: