FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - The Florence Police Department started reviewing its policies in March, but following the death of George Floyd, their “use of force” and “duty to act or intervene” policies became a priority.
The department isn’t changing procedures, but rewording their policies already in place to give officers a better understanding of how to respond to certain situations.
“Our policy will reflect more directly and hopefully more concisely for our officers so hopefully it’s much easier for them to understand their role in our community and we want to help the community and our officers get away from the ‘us versus them’ and show how we are to work together, and that’s how we make our community a better place,” said Florence Police Department Capt. Mike Brandt.
The “Duty to Act or Intervene” is the duty for an officer to intervene and stop excessive force by other officers.
Brandt said they’ve always taught officers about appropriate response measures, but they wanted to make sure they are reflected in their policy.
“We’ve been trying to make our policy more concise and easier to understand for our officers so they understand their role, the issues which have arisen since the George Floyd murder is the ‘duty to act or intervene’ and that has been a part of what we do it just hasn’t been in the wording so we are updating our policy to reflect that,” said Brandt.
To help them with the policy updates, Brandt said they are getting input from experts on “use of force” and “duty to act or intervene”.
Brandt said it is important for the department to continue to update and improve upon the policies they already have in place.
He said the way they respond in certain situations reflects on the Florence Police Department as a whole.
“We are a part of the community and the way we respond reflects how we are a part of that community and the way we respond reflects how we are a part of the community versus us being an occupying force. That’s not who we want to be and that’s not who we are and we’re ineffective as a police department if we aren’t a part of the community,” said Brandt.
Brandt said by updating policies they’re helping officers and the public understand what they are trying to do to make the community better.