The Florida Police Chiefs Association Issues New Use of Force Policy Recommendations


Also Calls for Aggressive Incident Reporting

The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) today released the first report from the association’s Subcommittee on Accountability and Societal Change, established in the wake of the George Floyd murder.

FPCA president and Satellite Beach Police Department Chief Jeff Pearson said,
“The Florida Police Chiefs Association promised to lead the way to strengthen trust
and accountability between law enforcement and the communities they serve. This
report puts those promises into action.”

The report makes numerous recommendations on the use of force and other related
issues, using the 2020 National Consensus Policy and other nationally recognized
talking points as the foundation of discussion, and sets additional guiding principles
that Florida law enforcement agencies should follow. Highlights include:


Banning both chokeholds and vascular neck restraints except when deadly
force is authorized. This is a high bar only crossed when an officer must protect themselves or others from what is reasonably believed to be a threat of death or serious bodily harm.Requiring de-escalation whenever possible and appropriate before resorting to

Requiring verbal warnings before shooting, where feasible.

Requiring an officer’s duty to intervene to prevent or stop another officer’s use
of excessive force.

Requiring comprehensive reporting when force is used, including reporting
when an officer points a firearm at someone, even if it is not discharged.

Recommending that in the case of a critical incident, law enforcement
administrators release as much information as appropriate under the law as
quickly as possible, to reduce the spread of rumors and incorrect information.

Reaffirming the principle of officer accountability for the use of excessive force
or other policy violations, as allowed under the Officer’s Bill of Rights, Florida’s
public records law, and other legal requirements.

Calling for a renewed focus on actively recruiting police officers that reflect the
demographics of the communities they serve.

Said Pearson, “On behalf of the board, I want to thank subcommittee chairman and
St. Petersburg Police Department Chief Anthony Holloway and the subcommittee
members, including the participating community leaders, for their contributions to this
initial report.”

Said Pearson, “Now, the subcommittee will continue its work. This report is the first
step, but not the last.”