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Tallahassee Police Department's Use Of Force Policies, Training Could Soon Be Audited

TPD cars are parked on the grass with their headlights on. It is night time.
Tallahassee Police Department
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The Tallahassee City Commission is slated to review Inspector General Dennis Sutton's work plan for auditing TPD's use of force policies and training during its October 14 meeting.

Early in September, a grand jury didn't indict the officers responsible for shooting and killing Wilbon Woodard, Mychael Johnson, and Tony McDade. Afterward, the commission directed Tallahassee Inspector General Dennis Sutton to draft a plan for auditing TPD. Sutton says that plan is now complete.

"We are going to scan across the country at the national, state, local government level for best practices that have been published. We're going to look for other sources of best practices from civic organizations, maybe the ACLU," Sutton says.

Sutton's team will see what TPD's use of force policy is and then compare it with what these other groups recommend. His plan will also look into how TPD's use of force policies are being incorporated into officers' training.

"In the heat of the moment, we don't believe that they will be able to stop and think, 'are my actions in accordance with policy?' They're going to fall back on their training. So, we want to make sure that they're training is sufficient to help ensure they act appropriately," Sutton says.

If Sutton's team finds something that needs improving within TPD, he will bring it up to the commission.