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Orlando Invites Residents To Weigh In On Police Reform

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Police in riot gear guarding the Orlando Police Department headquarters as protesters look on, Sunday May 31st. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

The City of Orlando is inviting residents to have their say about police reform. Online public meetings will be held from 6pm- 8pm Monday and 6pm- 8pm Wednesday as part of the city’s efforts to address police reform and racial inequity. 

Orlando launched the Community Trust and Equity Initiative in response to protests that swept the country after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, and calls for reform of Orlando’s police department by local activists. 

Dr. Theron Bowman, a former Texas police chief who now runs a consulting company, is reviewing the police department, including how the city hires and trains officers, how the department uses technology and how officers are held accountable. 

Bowman said the protests “changed the discussion.”

“Not all of the discussion has been positive, but I think it’s created a great opportunity to really have a positive impact on police- community relations.”

Bowman said he expects more community meetings after the two scheduled for this week. 

“If they would like to discuss defunding, if they like to discuss police use of force, whatever they would like to discuss, we want to be able to listen, to hear, to take notes, and to consider what the will of the community is in those meetings.”

He said his report should be ready for the police department and the city by the end of the summer. 

Find more information about Monday’s meeting here.

Find more information about Wednesday’s meeting here.

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »