Florida Senate - 2021                             CS for SB 1970
       By the Committee on Criminal Justice; and Senators Pizzo and
       591-02935-21                                          20211970c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to law enforcement reform; providing a
    3         declaration of important state interest; amending s.
    4         943.10, F.S.; defining terms; amending s. 943.12,
    5         F.S.; requiring the Criminal Justice Standards and
    6         Training Commission to adopt rules prohibiting law
    7         enforcement officers, correctional officers, or
    8         correctional probation officers from using specified
    9         techniques; providing an exception; requiring the
   10         commission to adopt rules requiring employing agencies
   11         to report information related to the use of such
   12         techniques; requiring that the commission cause to be
   13         investigated certain officers who use the prohibited
   14         techniques; requiring the commission to provide
   15         specified data regarding final commission orders to
   16         the National Decertification Index; creating s.
   17         943.121, F.S.; requiring the commission to establish
   18         and maintain standards for the instruction of officers
   19         in specified subjects in order to build upon and
   20         improve police-community relations; providing minimum
   21         required standards for deescalation training;
   22         requiring that by a specified date the commission
   23         provide certain guidance to law enforcement agencies;
   24         requiring the commission to create and publish on its
   25         website a model written policy; requiring that by a
   26         specified date each law enforcement agency adopt a
   27         certain written policy; requiring the commission to
   28         collect certain data and annually, by a specified
   29         date, submit a report to the Legislature; amending s.
   30         943.125, F.S.; revising the minimum aspects of law
   31         enforcement that the law enforcement accreditation
   32         program must address; amending s. 943.1715, F.S.;
   33         requiring every basic skills course required for
   34         officers to obtain initial certification to include a
   35         minimum number of hours of deescalation training;
   36         amending s. 943.1716, F.S.; requiring the commission
   37         to adopt rules requiring that every officer receive a
   38         minimum number of hours of deescalation training;
   39         providing an effective date.
   41  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   43         Section 1. The Legislature finds that effective policing
   44  requires that the use of chokeholds and neck restraints be
   45  limited; that law enforcement basic recruit training and
   46  retraining include deescalation training; that minimum standards
   47  of instruction be developed relating to deescalation techniques,
   48  procedural justice, implicit bias, and the duty of an officer to
   49  intervene if another officer uses excessive or unnecessary
   50  force; that the state law enforcement accreditation program
   51  address these matters as well as mental health and wellness
   52  resources and support available for law enforcement officers;
   53  and that written policies incorporate an affirmative duty to use
   54  deescalation techniques whenever possible. The Legislature
   55  further finds and declares that this act fulfills an important
   56  state interest in protecting the safety of both law enforcement
   57  officers and the public by ensuring law enforcement officers
   58  receive sufficient and similar training to prevent unnecessary
   59  or excessive use of force and to develop skills to enhance
   60  understanding of and communication with the communities they
   61  serve.
   62         Section 2. Subsections (23) through (27) are added to
   63  section 943.10, Florida Statutes, to read:
   64         943.10 Definitions; ss. 943.085-943.255.—The following
   65  words and phrases as used in ss. 943.085-943.255 are defined as
   66  follows:
   67         (23) “Deescalation technique” means a method or methods for
   68  assessing and managing a situation in order to resolve it with
   69  the least response to resistance which is safe and practicable
   70  by a law enforcement officer.
   71         (24) “Implicit bias training” means a program designed to
   72  go beyond producing fair and impartial enforcement of the law by
   73  bringing awareness to or increasing awareness of, and improving
   74  response strategies to, unconscious bias towards diverse
   75  communities. Such training should allow law enforcement to serve
   76  the community with a deeper understanding of the diversities
   77  within the community, thereby mitigating community tension and
   78  improving police-community relations.
   79         (25) “Intervene” means to stop the use of excessive or
   80  unnecessary force.
   81         (26) “Procedural justice training” means a system of law
   82  enforcement that prioritizes obtaining citizen compliance with
   83  law enforcement direction through fair and respectful two-way
   84  communication and, where possible and safe, provides explanation
   85  of the rationale behind directions given by law enforcement
   86  officers to build trust. This training allows for both community
   87  and police to be treated with respect and dignity, thereby
   88  cultivating stronger police-community relations.
   89         (27) “Reaction gap” means the minimum amount of distance
   90  necessary to ensure that a law enforcement officer will have
   91  time to be able to react appropriately to a potential threat.
   92         Section 3. Present subsection (17) of section 943.12,
   93  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (18), and a new
   94  subsection (17) and subsection (19) are added to that section,
   95  to read:
   96         943.12 Powers, duties, and functions of the commission.—The
   97  commission shall:
   98         (17) Adopt rules prohibiting any law enforcement officer,
   99  correctional officer, or correctional probation officer from
  100  using any technique that requires the application of pressure to
  101  the neck, throat, esophagus, trachea, or carotid arteries
  102  alongside the trachea. The use of such a technique by a law
  103  enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional
  104  probation officer is prohibited unless deadly force is
  105  authorized under the law. The commission shall adopt rules
  106  requiring employing agencies to report to the commission any use
  107  of such technique by a law enforcement officer, correctional
  108  officer, or correctional probation officer employed by that
  109  agency. The commission shall cause to be investigated any law
  110  enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional
  111  probation officer who uses such a technique in violation of this
  112  subsection, and shall set disciplinary guidelines and penalties
  113  prescribed in rules applicable to such violation.
  114         (19) Provide data to the National Decertification Index on
  115  final commission orders regarding revocation or relinquishment
  116  of certification of law enforcement officers, correctional
  117  officers, and correctional probation officers.
  118         Section 4. Section 943.121, Florida Statutes, is created to
  119  read:
  120         943.121 Commission standards for instruction of officers in
  121  certain subjects; guidance; written policies.—
  122         (1)The commission shall establish and maintain standards
  123  for instruction of officers in the subjects of deescalation
  124  techniques, procedural justice training, implicit bias training,
  125  and the duty to intervene if another officer uses excessive or
  126  unnecessary force in order to build upon and improve police
  127  community relations.
  128         (2) The minimum standards for deescalation training must
  129  include all of the following:
  130         (a) Training on verbal and physical tactics that would help
  131  avoid a physical response to resistance with an emphasis on
  132  communication, negotiation, deescalation techniques, creating
  133  and maintaining a reaction gap, and obtaining the time needed to
  134  resolve the incident safely for each individual involved.
  135         (b) Training officers simultaneously and in teams on
  136  deescalation and appropriate responses to resistance to improve
  137  group dynamics and diminish excessive responses to resistance
  138  while managing critical incidents.
  139         (c) Training that intentional chokeholds must never be
  140  used, except in deadly force situations.
  141         (d) Training on the principles of using distance, cover,
  142  and time when approaching and managing critical incidents, and
  143  the elimination of other techniques in favor of using distance
  144  and cover to create and sustain a reaction gap.
  145         (e) Training on the use of the lowest response to
  146  resistance which is a possible and safe response to an
  147  identified threat.
  148         (f) Training on the reevaluation of an identified threat as
  149  the management of the critical incident progresses.
  150         (g) Training on procedural justice training.
  151         (h) Training on crisis intervention strategies to
  152  appropriately identify and respond to individuals suffering from
  153  physical or mental disabilities, mental health issues, or
  154  substance abuse issues with an emphasis on deescalation
  155  techniques and promoting effective communication with such
  156  individuals.
  157         (i) Training on techniques that provide all officers with
  158  awareness and recognition of an individual’s physical and mental
  159  disabilities, mental health issues, and substance abuse issues
  160  with an emphasis on communication strategies.
  161         (j) Training on other evidence-based approaches found to be
  162  appropriate by the commission which enhance deescalation
  163  techniques and skills.
  164         (k) Training on implicit bias.
  165         (3) Not later than November 30, 2022, the commission shall
  166  provide written guidance to law enforcement agencies in this
  167  state that employ law enforcement officers with regard to
  168  compliance with minimum standards under subsection (2).
  169         (4) The commission shall create and publish on its website
  170  a model written policy in accordance with subsection (2).
  171         (5) Not later than January 1, 2023, each law enforcement
  172  agency in this state shall adopt a written policy stating that
  173  each of the law enforcement officers in its employ has an
  174  affirmative duty to use deescalation techniques in his or her
  175  interactions with citizens wherever possible. A law enforcement
  176  agency may fulfill its duty under this subsection by adopting
  177  the commission’s model written policy.
  178         (6) The commission shall collect data regarding the
  179  implementation of training programs under this section and shall
  180  provide by July 1 of each year an annual report to the President
  181  of the Senate, the Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the
  182  House of Representatives, and the House Minority Leader
  183  describing that data.
  184         Section 5. Section 943.125, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  185  read:
  186         943.125 Accreditation of state and local law enforcement
  187  agencies, correctional facilities, public agency offices of
  188  inspectors general, and certain pretrial diversion programs;
  189  intent.—
  190         (1) It is the intent of the Legislature that law
  191  enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, public agency
  192  offices of inspectors general, and those agencies offering
  193  pretrial diversion programs within offices of the state
  194  attorneys, county government, or sheriff’s offices in the state
  195  be upgraded and strengthened through the adoption of meaningful
  196  standards of operation for those agencies and their functions.
  197         (2) It is the further intent of the Legislature that these
  198  agencies voluntarily adopt standards designed to promote
  199  enhanced professionalism:
  200         (a) For law enforcement, to maximize the capability of law
  201  enforcement agencies to enforce the law and prevent and control
  202  criminal activities.
  203         (b) For correctional facilities, to maintain best practices
  204  for the care, custody, and control of inmates.
  205         (c) Within public agency offices of inspector general, to
  206  promote more effective scrutiny of public agency operations and
  207  greater accountability of those serving in those agencies.
  208         (d) In the operation and management of pretrial diversion
  209  programs offered by and through the state attorney’s offices,
  210  county government, or sheriff’s offices.
  211         (3) The Legislature also intends to encourage the
  212  continuation of a voluntary state accreditation program to
  213  facilitate the enhanced professionalism identified in subsection
  214  (2). Other than the staff support by the department as
  215  authorized in subsection (5), the accreditation program must be
  216  independent of any law enforcement agency, the Department of
  217  Corrections, the Florida Sheriffs Association, or the Florida
  218  Police Chiefs Association.
  219         (4) The law enforcement accreditation program must address,
  220  at a minimum, all of the following aspects of law enforcement:
  221         (a) Vehicle pursuits.
  222         (b) Seizure and forfeiture of contraband articles.
  223         (c) Recording and processing citizens’ complaints.
  224         (d) Response to resistance Use of force.
  225         (e)Traffic stops.
  226         (f) Handling natural and manmade disasters.
  227         (g) Special operations.
  228         (h) Prisoner transfer.
  229         (i) Collection and preservation of evidence.
  230         (j) Recruitment and selection.
  231         (k) Officer training.
  232         (l) Performance evaluations.
  233         (m) Law enforcement disciplinary procedures and rights.
  234         (n) Use of criminal investigative funds.
  235         (o) Deescalation techniques.
  236         (p) Implicit bias training.
  237         (q) Procedural justice training.
  238         (r) Mental health and wellness resources and support
  239  available for law enforcement officers, including any peer
  240  support teams and sworn or unsworn chaplaincy programs.
  241         (s) The duty to intervene if another officer uses excessive
  242  or unnecessary force.
  243         (5) Subject to available funding, the department shall
  244  employ and assign adequate support staff to the Commission for
  245  Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc., and the Florida
  246  Corrections Accreditation Commission, Inc., in support of the
  247  accreditation programs established in this section.
  248         (6) Accreditation standards related to law enforcement and
  249  inspectors general used by the accreditation programs
  250  established in this section shall be determined by the
  251  Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc.
  252  Accreditation standards related to corrections functions and
  253  pretrial diversion programs shall be determined by the Florida
  254  Corrections Accreditation Commission, Inc.
  255         Section 6. Section 943.1715, Florida Statutes, is amended
  256  to read:
  257         943.1715 Basic skills training relating to diverse
  258  populations and deescalation training.—The commission shall
  259  establish and maintain standards for instruction of officers in
  260  the subject of interpersonal skills relating to diverse
  261  populations, with an emphasis on the awareness of cultural
  262  differences. Every basic skills course required in order for
  263  officers to obtain initial certification must include training
  264  in interpersonal skills with diverse populations. The commission
  265  shall also require that every basic skills course include in the
  266  curriculum at least 40 hours of deescalation training.
  267         Section 7. Section 943.1716, Florida Statutes, is amended
  268  to read:
  269         943.1716 Continued employment training relating to diverse
  270  populations and deescalation training.—The commission shall by
  271  rule require that each officer receive, as part of the 40 hours
  272  of required instruction for continued employment or appointment
  273  as an officer, instruction in the subject of interpersonal
  274  skills relating to diverse populations, with an emphasis on the
  275  awareness of cultural differences. The commission shall also
  276  require by rule that every officer receive at least 16 hours of
  277  deescalation training, in addition to the 40 hours of required
  278  instruction for continued employment or appointment as an
  279  officer.
  280         Section 8. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.