The Tampa Police Department condemns police brutality in the City of Tampa and around the country. The proposed #8CantWait initiative by Campaign Zero outlines eight policies that can decrease police violence & improve the safety of all citizens. The Tampa Police Department is proud to be a longstanding leader in the implementation of safe, fair protocols and practices. The eight proposed policies have been in effect for years in the City of Tampa. We are currently in the process of updating the Campaign Zero leaders to ensure the 8CantWait website is accurately portraying these existing policies.
Although we have made progress, there is always room for improvement. The City of Tampa & Tampa Police Department are committed to accountability, transparency and working with the community to build a city that is equitable and inclusive for all.
Ban Chokeholds & Strangleholds
Chokeholds and strangleholds are prohibited by Standard Operating Procedure 538, § III (F) and SOP 538 § II (K) defines Chokeholds as any techniques using arms or legs to retrain individuals in a manner that substantively restricts breathing or simultaneously occludes both carotid blood vessels. Response to Resistance procedure.
Tampa Police Department trains its officers in De-escalation techniques. The course is De-Escalation/Intervention & Decision making Scenario Training and officers have to demonstrate the ability to de-escalate their level of force as necessary.
Require Warning Before Shooting
SOP 537 Section V, B(8) affirmatively requires, to the extent practical, that an officer provide verbal warning or direction before using deadly force.
Requires Exhaust All Alternatives Before Shooting
SOP 537, section IV, B3 affirmatively requires an officer to exhaust reasonable alternative before using deadly force.
Duty to Intervene
MOR 1823 affirmatively imposes a duty on an officer to intervene in the use of excessive force.
Additionally, the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution imposes a duty on an officer to intervene in the use of excessive force when the officer knows excessive force is being used and is in a position to stop it. The failure to intervene can subject an officer to civil liability.
Also see: SOP 538 Response to Resistance; SOP 536 Professional Responsibility and Philosophy of Enforcement.
Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles
Since 2014, SOP 537, Section V B(3) has prohibited shooting at moving vehicles and Legal Bulletin 2014-16 was distributed to officers to advise them of the change in policy and explain the reasons for the policy change which included prevention of unnecessary exposure to shooting situation.
Require Use of Force Continuum
SOP 538 Response to Resistance III(D)1-4 describes the Use of Force Continuum.
Require Comprehensive Reporting
SOP 651.1 Early Intervention Program: The Tampa Police Department Early Intervention Program (EIP) has been established to provide a systematic review of performance indicators. This data will be disseminated to the appropriate supervisor who will review each incident, individually and collectively, meet with the identified employee, and submit a summary of their findings through their chain of command to the Professional Standards Bureau.