Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
July 31, 2021
On Friday, July 30, 2021, the Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) Subcommittee on Accountability and Societal Change released a 32-page report with recommendations and suggestions that call on both police and the public to consciously make efforts to treat each other with respect and dignity.
Discussions and meetings in the wake of the George Floyd murder brought law enforcement executives members of the community and subject matter experts together to focus on improving mutual needs and understanding. The subcommittee’s first report was a September 2020 publication entitled Use of Force Policy and Related Issues.
As noted in the FPCA’s Use of Force report, nothing contained in this new report may set a state-wide standard nor form a basis to limit the otherwise lawful development of individual law enforcement agency policies, or the lawful use of otherwise lawful techniques.
The current report’s suggestions and recommendations are organized around six pillars previously identified in the Department of Justice’s 21st Century Policing Report, published in 2015:
Policy and Oversight
Technology and Social Media
Community Policing with Community Collaboration
Training and Education
Officer Wellness and Safety
The Executive Summary of the latest report states:
“Both the FPCA and the Subcommittee recognize that many more action items could have been identified under each of these pillars, and the list provided in this document is not intended to be exhaustive but is simply a starting place for moving recommendations into action. The Subcommittee further prioritized action items within the framework of responsibility. Certain recommendations are within the responsibility of law enforcement while others are within the domain of communities, and others still are collective responsibilities. A color-coded legend identifies these entities with primary, but not exclusive, responsibility. All action Items are red, all law enforcement items are blue, all community items are green, and both are in purple.”
The entire report is available online by clicking here.
St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway chaired the subcommittee and expressed his belief that the report applies “to agencies of all sizes and demographics.”
Dr. Randy Nelson, program director at Bethune-Cookman University’s Center for Law and Social Justice, was also on the subcommittee. He said, “Law enforcement needs to be able to engage our Black and Brown communities on non-law enforcement issues. If they don’t, we will never get over the stigma of these communities associating the police with negative actions. Communities and the police have equal responsibility for this engagement. Only then can lasting partnerships that improve pubic safety be developed.”
Kareem Spratling, a shareholder at Bryant Miller Olive, emphasized that the report was a set of good faith recommendations for a better future, not a potshot at police. He said, “After reading these reports I hope that law enforcement leaders will first understand that reform and supporting the police re not mutually exclusive. Communities need to review these recommendations and acknowledge that most officers are good and want to do the right thing. They need to be just as likely to uplift them as they are to disparage them.”