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In 2014, the Cocoa Police Department was the first agency in Brevard County to equip all its officers and sergeants with body worn cameras. CPD Policy GO 0915 governs use.
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It is not the policy of the Cocoa Police Department to use this technique. We do not train in these techniques and they are not authorized. Neck restraints and/or similar weaponless control techniques with a potential for serious injury are not authorized techniques and shall be considered Deadly Force.
CPD Policy General Order (GO 0600).
Escalation, de-escalation, and disengagement are important concepts in making legally and tactically sound, reasonable responses to resistance. Officers are legally permitted to escalate their use of force as the subject escalates his or her level of resistance. The officer’s choices are determined by the subject’s actions and the risk of physical harm posed to the officer or others. Once the officer achieves control or compliance, he or she must de-escalate the use of force. Under certain circumstances, disengagement may be the best tactical option, for example, when the officer is waiting for backup, when the officer is injured or outnumbered, or when the suspect has superior firepower. Officers will use the Force Guidelines when considering response to resistance options.
CPD Policy GO 0600.
If practical, prior to utilizing deadly force, the officer shall identify him/her self and provide a verbal warning of their intentions.
CPD Policy GO 0600 VII. B.
Officers should always try to resolve a situation with the least amount of force necessary. Command presence and verbal communication often will defuse many volatile situations. Sometimes, however, these are not enough, or officers may not have an opportunity to use them. Officers need not apply force in gradually increasing steps in order to justify physical control or even deadly force. Instead, officers need to respond with all the force reasonably necessary for the circumstances in each specific situation. Options include the following:
a. Physical control
b. Non-lethal weapons
c. Deadly force
CPD Policy GO2010
It is the policy of the Cocoa Police Department to investigate all complaints against the Department and/or its personnel; to equitably determine whether the allegations are valid or invalid; and to initiate appropriate closure, with corrective action as deemed necessary.
It shall be the responsibility of all department personnel to report any violation of laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, procedures, or orders by any other department member.
It shall be the policy of the Cocoa Police Department to require that all members, prior to being sworn, take an oath of office. Sworn officers shall also be required to abide by the Law Enforcement code of ethics, which the agency has adopted.
Law Enforcement Oath of Honor: Sworn Officers shall become familiar with and incorporate into their personal philosophies the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor, to wit: On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the constitution, my community and the agency I serve.
We have policies in place to address issues of misconduct that go beyond use of force and “collusion” or other internal misconduct. These issues are referenced in CPD Policy GO 2010. It is the policy of the Cocoa Police Department to investigate all complaints against the Department and/or its personnel; to equitably determine whether the allegations are valid or invalid; and to initiate appropriate closure, with corrective action as deemed necessary.
CPD Policy GO 0600
Officers will not discharge their firearms at or from a moving vehicle, except as an ultimate measure of self-defense or defense of another.
CPD Policy GO 0600 Response to resistance guidelines provide a framework for making decisions involving the reasonable use of force. The structure of the force guidelines is based on constitutional considerations and case law and describes appropriate decision making in a fluid and dynamic situation. The guidelines consider the relationship between subject resistance and various situational factors in determining the officer’s response options. The force Guidelines recognizes that officers make use of force decisions based on the totality of circumstances at the time of the incident. Circumstances are fluid and dynamic. Formulating a valid response requires continual assessment as the situation changes.
CPD Policy GO 0600 (Section 11)
Any time a member discharges a firearm, for other than training purposes; applies force through the use of lethal or less-lethal weapons; or applies weaponless force as described herein shall include in the official incident and Response to Resistance reports a statement detailing the circumstances which compelled such use of weapon, devices, or weaponless physical force and the extent to which the weapon, device, or weaponless physical force was used.
CPD Policy GO 1030
It shall be the policy of the Cocoa Police Department that the standard search warrant service shall be the preferred tactic in the execution of search warrants. The primary exception to this rule is when there are specific and articulable facts known to law enforcement personnel existing at the time of service, which establishes that the safety of officers or citizens is at risk or that the seizure of essential evidence may be compromised.
STANDARD SEARCH WARRANT SERVICE – execution/service of a search warrant which requires adherence to officers “Knocking” and “announcing” there presence and purpose.
CPD Policy GO 0620:
It is the policy of the Cocoa Police Department to ensure that officers shall use only that degree of force which is reasonably necessary to protect citizens and law enforcement officers from physical attack or to overcome actual physical resistance to arrest. [CFA 4.01]
At least one authorized non-lethal implement (Advance Taser, chemical agent, or expandable baton/flashlight).
CPD Policy GO 1490
It shall be the policy of the Cocoa Police Department to ensure the safety of departmental members and the general public by utilizing a group of specially trained members in order to bring about the successful resolution to potentially dangerous high-risk situations.
The Cocoa Police Department has established a specially trained unit to provide appropriate responses to high-risk incidents. High-risk incidents shall be coordinated by a command staff member who has the authority and responsibility to direct the incident.
GO 1490 C. S.W.A.T. response situations include, but are not limited to, the following:
The Cocoa Police Department and its officers received hundreds of hours of training each year. The subject matter includes, but is not limited to:
There are also strict requirements in place throughout the hiring process including, but not limited to, successful completion of the basic recruit academy, and FDLE state standardized law enforcement officer certification test. Candidate must also pass a psychological exam, polygraph exam, extensive personal and professional background check including prior employment records. If hired, the candidate must complete extensive training involving more than 250 professional standards governing everything from the handling of property and evidence to internal affairs, training and recruitment, use of force, special operations and other critical areas.
Resolution 2018-097 Established the Police Community Relations Advisory Committee in October, 2018. The scope of the COMMITTEE’s advisory responsibilities shall be limited to advising and making recommendations to the City’s Police Chief, City Council or City Manager, as appropriate, related to the City’s Police Department. Specifically, the COMMITTEE’s advisory responsibilities shall be limited to the City of Cocoa and the following objectives:
1. Providing a vibrant community discussion forum to foster understanding, communication and collaboration between law enforcement (including and especially the Police City of Cocoa Resolution No. chief and Police Department leadership team) and concerned individuals and citizens about a variety of law enforcement issues or topics of concern;
2. Identifying and addressing community policing needs and police-community relations in a positive and constructive manner;
3. Promoting successful programs, initiatives and strategies to reduce crime and improve community safety;
4. Promoting and increasing community involvement in successful community policing programs, initiatives and strategies to build trust and confidence between the community and the City’s Police Department;
5. Informing and educating the community regarding crime awareness and prevention techniques, programs and strategies to generate community interest and involvement in crime prevention and to deter crime;
6. To review and advise the Police Chief on community related matters which have been expressly referred to the COMMITTEE by the Police Chief, City Manager or City Council;
7. Work to strengthen and ensure, throughout the community, the application of equal protection under law in the context of law enforcement; and
8. Promoting transparency and accountability regarding alleged police misconduct by publicly discussing with the Police Chief written findings of completed and closed internal investigation reports involving the conduct of law enforcement officers employed by the City pertaining to the use of force or police conduct toward a citizen so appropriate processes and strategies may be considered by the Police Chief in preventing the occurrence of future activities of misconduct, provided such public discussion occurs at an appropriate time taking into account any applicable lawsuits and legal claims that may be pending against the City and applicable law enforcement officers.
The Cocoa Police Department began its community policing philosophy in 1998. The Community Resource Unit is currently dedicated to this philosophy. There is currently one community resource officer and K9 handler using a public relations/therapy k9, 2 school resource officers and 1 lieutenant assigned to this unit. Its mission is to execute and support community outreach programs including the Cocoa Police Athletic League, youth leadership training, employment training, after school programs and mentoring, Cops and Kids Summer Camp program, school partnerships in education, safety programs, crime prevention programs, community watch meetings, public education and information, and proactive outreach to connect the police department with the community. The “Lemonade Stand”, is used at many of these outreach events and programs to create goodwill and an approachable way to connect with police officers and personnel. The mission has made a significant impact in creating and fostering positive relationships with the public of all ages and backgrounds. The department also created a non-profit entity to help fund many of the programs that are not currently covered with the city’s operational budget. The financial support from the community has enabled outreach programs to impact hundreds of local families in and around Cocoa. The Cocoa Police Department also has two victim advocates on staff to serve the community with victim assistance and social services. This is funded through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) federal grant.