Audit Finds TPD Use of Force Policy Follows Best Practices, Makes Three Recommendations

Audit Finds TPD Use of Force Policy Follows Best Practices, Makes Three Recommendations

An audit of the Tallahassee Police Department’s (TPD) use of force policy found TPD’s policy aligns with best practices but made three recommendations that could enhance the policy.

In response to many high-profile events across the nation which have raised concerns about the use of force by law enforcement agencies, the City Commission directed the Inspector General to evaluate the Tallahassee Police Department’s (TPD) policy and procedure related to use of force, titled General Order 60 – Response to Resistance (GO-60).

The audit assessed TPD’s use of force policy to ensure it promotes public and police officer safety and maintains public trust.

The purpose of this audit was to evaluate TPD’s use of force policy (General Order 60 -Response to Resistance) dated June 17, 2020. The audit’s objective was to determine if GO-60 is consistent with modern policing standards and best practices.

To achieve this objective, the Inspector General identified and reviewed best practices from several sources, such as professional law enforcement associations, civic groups, and other law enforcement agencies and publications. The audit compared TPD’s policy to those best practices and identified areas for enhancement.

Comparison to 8 Can’t Wait

Campaign Zero, gained national recognition after developing the 8 Can’t Wait initiative. 8 Can’t Wait consists of eight policy recommendations that were developed in collaboration with legal experts, police accountability advocates, and academics with expertise in law enforcement use of force.

The audit compared GO-60 with Campaign Zero’s 8 Can’t Wait policy recommendations. Based on that comparison, the audit concluded GO-60 incorporates all eight of the policy recommendations put forth by Campaign Zero in its 8 Can’t Wait initiative. The table below illustrates the eight specific policy recommendations and descriptions of GO-60 policy language that addresses those recommendations.

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The Inspector General concluded that GO-60 aligns with best practices and promotes the safety of the public and police officers. TPD’s efforts that contribute to effective policy development include external oversight, community involvement, and maintaining law enforcement accreditation.

While GO-60 is consistent with modern policing standards and incorporates best practices, the Inspector General identified where GO-60 could be enhanced. The audit found GO-60 could be improved by providing direction to police officers to reduce the risks of positional asphyxia.

In addition, the audit recommended that policy should clearly state that the department prohibits retaliation, harassment, or adverse treatment against an officer who intervenes or reports an excessive force incident.

And finally, the audit recommended that there should be a requirement to publish the annual use of force analysis report.

6 Responses to "Audit Finds TPD Use of Force Policy Follows Best Practices, Makes Three Recommendations"

  1. @David — I’m a big man. Big enough that my size alone can often diffuse a situation. I’ve even stood in the middle of a bar fight and held the two combatants at bay. When they glanced up at me, they both decided that going through me wasn’t going to work. And as we chatted they both relaxed and settled down.

    One good friend is a retired officer from up North. At 6’5″ and 280#, with a chest, waist, and hips that look like they were chiseled out of solid granite, he’s also someone that as a uniformed officer never had anyone get physical with him. His secret isn’t just his size, but his demeanor. His friendly smile and pleasant voice is disarming and often takes the air out of the situation immediately.

    Deescalation isn’t rocket science. Attitude is the key. Not everyone can use their physical size to their advantage here, but there are other ways!

  2. 1. Bring back the Billy Club/Night Stick.
    2. Restore the policy of shooting Fleeing Felons.
    3. Return to the era when troublesome criminals “tripped” on the way to the jail house.

  3. @ David
    One addition to your list. #4: If you come after one of our officers with a weapon in an attacking manner, that may very well be the last action you will ever commit while on this earth.

  4. MY suggestion would be a lot simpler than all that and only consist of 3 items. #1: Require Officers to try to De-Escalate the Situation. #2: If that doesn’t work, Officer then gives Verbal Warnings. #3: If #1 & #2 show no effects of working, Tazze the Suspect to Subdue and Hand Cuff.

    Run Ads stating that THIS is how it will be from now on. No more Coddling, no more pussyfooten around, Wham Bam, your in the Can.

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