Orange County

OPD, B-CU develop action plan to strengthen officers’ relationship with the community

ORLANDO, Fla. — People on Tuesday gathered in downtown Orlando to remember George Floyd and what his death has meant for them.

Many of them said we’ve made some progress, but they feel like the road ahead is long.

READ: ‘They were doing their best to cripple him’: Orlando mother speaks out on son’s deadly confrontation with Louisiana troopers

In response to Floyd’s death, there were protests and demonstrations across the country, including here in Central Florida.

See photos of remembrance gatherings in Central Florida and the rest of the country below or by clicking here:

Many law enforcement agencies launched work groups to address race relations and use-of-force policies.

But Orlando police were already working on a community action plan.

The City of Orlando paid Bethune-Cookman University $62,000 to develop a “community safety and engagement action plan.”

READ: 9 Investigates reveals changes being made to balance diversity across local police agencies

It is just one of the efforts listed under the city’s community trust and equity initiative, and there are a handful of recommendations made to better the officer-community relationship.

Dr. Randy Nelson runs the Law and Social Justice Center at Bethune-Cookman. He’s spent the last several months conducting separate training workshops with OPD leadership, patrol, community members and stockholders.

Together, they developed the Community Safety and Engagement Action Plan for the Orlando Police Department.

READ: Central Florida remembers George Floyd 1 year after his murder

The plan right now is Parramore-specific but will branch out to other neighborhoods.

The first pillar is about the need to build trust and legitimacy. To do that, OPD is increasing positive non-enforcement encounters and upping exposure opportunities, especially with youth.

The second pillar is policy and oversight. The plan suggests the department needs to engage the community in the development of law enforcement policy and practice.

READ: Rallies, moments of silence honor George Floyd a year later

Another focus of the plan is community policing and crime reduction. One of the recommendations the team put forward was for OPD to conduct an in-depth analysis of calls for service, because not all calls require a gun and a badge.

The last pillar is officer wellness and safety.

The plan recommends developing strategies and programs that foster an environment that supports mental and physical safety.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

Comments on this article