On August 4th, Police Chief Jay Parrish with the Gainesville Police Department announced some of the new practices he intends on implementing within the department that aim to help “improve relationships with citizens” [Source: The Times]. Over the course of the last few months, many innocent lives have been taken by the hands of police officers which has only widened the gap that exists between law enforcement and the community. Parrish is looking to bridge that gap with these new policies and create a better system that requires officers to hold each other accountable while performing their duties.
As a part of the department’s reform plan, the agency intends on increasing the amount of time officers spend in de-escalating training. Parrish says Gainesville officers typically spend about five to 10 hours a year participating in de-escalation training, but the department plans on increasing that amount by about 300%. During the first 24 hours of training out of the police academy, officers will be expected to spend that time focusing on de-escalation.
How will the Gainesville Police Department improve how officers interact with citizens?
Another new practice the GPD plans on implementing centers around how officers interact with community members. After these new practices are implemented, Parrish says officers will be required to do the following when approaching a citizen:
- Identify themselves.
- Provide the citizen with their badge number.
- Give the citizen the reason for the encounter.
In addition to these new rules, Parrish also says officers will be required to hold each other accountable. The Chief of Police told the news source “We’re changing our policy to require officers to act anytime they see another officer, regardless of rank, use excessive force, undue force or acts in any manner that may violate the citizen’s civil rights, that they have a duty to step in and act and stop that from occurring.” This change comes after Parrish says Minneapolis officers stood by and watched as George Floyd was “murdered.”
In addition to the changes noted above, the department also plans to form a new committee of about 10 to 15 community members “to write a strategic plan for community relations.”
Although police misconduct protests have sparked reform in many police departments, they aren’t enough to completely end police brutality. Therefore, if a Florida police officer injured you during an encounter or even while being detained, you are encouraged to contact a Lake City, FL personal injury lawyer who can help you obtain the justice you deserve. Typically, if you can prove that the level of force the officer applied was excessive, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and recover compensation for your injuries.
To speak with a personal injury lawyer in Lake City, FL or Gainesville, FL, contact Koberlein Law Offices.
You can reach Koberlein Law Offices at any of their office locations listed down below:
855 SW Baya Drive
Lake City, FL 32025
118 Ohio Avenue N, Suite A
Live Oak, FL 32064
8443 SW 14 Lane
Gainesville, FL 32607