Orange County

Union takes issue with Orange County Sheriff’s Office change to use-of-force policy

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — In the past week, the Orange County Sheriff's Office updated its use-of-force policy addressing when deputies should intervene.

But the union that represents those deputies is now taking issue with one specific word in the amendment.

The union provided a statement that says it isn't defending excessive force and could offer some suggestions on the policy if it had been afforded that opportunity.

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The new policy says "deputies have a duty to intervene if they anticipate or observe the unreasonable, unnecessary or disproportionate use of force."

Sherriff John Mina said he hoped that one sentence change would help avoid a situation like what happened with George Floyd in Minneapolis.

But the Fraternal Order of Police that represents deputies at the department filed a grievance Tuesday against the updated policy, saying not only did the sheriff violate the collective bargaining contract by not giving them 10 days’ notice, but they said they also have an issue with the wording.

President Jeff Stinson said he is OK with intervening but said the FOP would take issue "having any requirement for deputies to 'anticipate' force by another deputy and being possibly disciplined for not intervening sooner because it should have been anticipated to occur in a disproportionate or unreasonable way."

The union proposed this language instead: "deputies have a duty to intervene when he or she witnesses excessive force by another officer (deputy)."

The sheriff’s department said he will take the union’s concerns under consideration.

Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler,

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.