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Law enforcement, politicians meet to discuss policing

Palm Beach County sherif, mayor participate in forum
Posted at 11:31 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 23:31:26-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County's sheriff is renewing his call for body cameras, but just when could that happen? The issue was part of a forum Wednesday night on policing within Palm Beach County.

At the meeting, it was a "who's who" of law enforcement and politicians in the county.

"We're going to be talking about some very serious issues in law enforcement and policing," Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner said.

All 23 law enforcement agencies in the county were polled about nine questions. All of the departments responded. They were asked questions like, does your agency have a policy that bans chokeholds? All of them said yes.

Another question, the use of body cameras. Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said he's in support of putting body cameras on deputies. Kerner said money for the cams could come from millions currently set aside to refurbish dash cams.

Wednesday's meeting brought together agencies from all parts of Palm Beach County.

"We have a good group of chiefs and sheriff that works together collaboratively," Florida Atlantic University Police Chief Shaun Brammer said. "We meet once a week and talk about different ideas, different things that are occurring in our community, and we build from that so we can improve our departments."

Questions in the forum were raised by the community members who watched. One person asked why is it so hard to weed out bad cops? Bradshaw, who's seeking re-election, said it's not hard to get rid of bad cops but rather it's tough to keep them out.

"We make sure all our supervisors are properly trained under due process, how to investigate these cases," Bradshaw said. "And, No. 1, we have agency attorneys (who) mentor them through the process, so we're very prepared to go to court."

In the end, the Rev. Rae Whitley summed up what he feels is the problem with the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they're supposed to serve.

"But there's a disconnect from the policies being implemented and what we feel on the ground level," he said.