The Punta Gorda Police Department is the first law enforcement agency in the area to post its Standard Operating Procedures online.
Standard Operating Procedures, otherwise known as department policies, encompass hundreds of policies including when officers should use force, how to respond to the use of firearms and day-to-day items like staff briefings and uniforms.
Some law enforcement agencies in Florida, such as the Miami Police Department and Tampa Police Department, have their department policies posted online to the public — but most don’t.
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, the North Port Police Department and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office do not have their department policies posted online. But under Florida’s Sunshine Law, specific policies can be requested from law enforcement agencies through a public records request.
“As part of our continuing effort to build trust with our community and increase transparency, we have decided to take this step to ensure that our community understands how their police department functions,” Chief Pam Davis said in a statement.