In the nearly two weeks since police and residents walked shoulder to shoulder through Downtown Kissimmee to protest acts of police brutality like the one that led to the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis, there has been dialogue with a number of citizen groups on how the Kissimmee Police Department trains and operates.
Those citizens proposed eight procedural rule changes for law enforcement to reduce police violence. KPD Chief Jeff O’Dell said this week he’s proud to report that those proposed recommendations “have been incorporated within our policies and training curriculum for years, and for more than three years we have incorporated de-escalation and intervention tactics into our scenario-based training exercises.”
We will break down four of those proposals today, and KPD’s responses to them. Look for more this weekend.
Over three years ago, the Kissimmee Police Department implemented a formalized training program to educate all officers on the skills of de-escalation. The training included classroom instruction and practical scenarios. O’Dell has noted that all officers take that training before spending a minute on a street or in a squad car, and it’s recurring. “We continue to train on de-escalation on a yearly basis.”
Requiring a Warning prior to Shooting
Exhaust all alternatives to shooting:
These two are covered by the same set of policy.
As part of its Unauthorized Use of Firearms policy under the Response to Resistance, a KPD officer shall not draw a handgun or display a shoulder weapon except as authorized by the General Order. Discharging a firearm is prohibited if it presents an unreasonable risk to the officer or others to include:
Shooting into a crowd;
Shooting through doors, through windows or into buildings without clear target identification;
Shooting at subjects who only pose a threat to themselves such as suicidal subjects;
Shooting from or at moving vehicles — Unless it reasonably appears it would endanger officers or the public, and officers shall move out of the path of any approaching vehicle. (This is not intended to restrict an officer’s right to use deadly force directed at the operator of a vehicle when it is reasonably perceived that the vehicle is being used as a weapon against the officer or others).