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Miami Beach Police Department

Review and Assessment


















June 2014



Police Executive Research Forum
1120 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 930
Washington, DC 20036



TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ............................................................................................................4
SCOPE OF WORK ..........................................................................................................................4
METHODOLOGY ............................................................................................................................5
FINDINGS .....................................................................................................................................6
AGENCY OVERVIEW ..............................................................................................................21
MAJOR ELEMENTS ASSESSED ............................................................................................24
RECRUITMENT, SELECTION, HIRING AND THE PROMOTIONAL PROCESS .........................................24
RECRUITING ............................................................................................................................................ 24
BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND SELECTION OF POLICE OFFICERS ............................................................ 25
PROMOTIONAL PROCESS .......................................................................................................................... 26
USE OF FORCE ...........................................................................................................................28
POLICY ................................................................................................................................................... 28
USE OF FORCE TRAINING ......................................................................................................................... 32
TACTICS ................................................................................................................................................. 33
REPORTING AND REVIEW PROCESS ........................................................................................................... 34
DOCUMENTATION..................................................................................................................................... 38
DEPARTMENT TRAINING ..............................................................................................................41
RECRUIT / POST ACADEMY TRAINING ......................................................................................................... 41
FIELD TRAINING PROGRAM ....................................................................................................................... 42
ANNUAL MANDATORY RE-TRAINING ........................................................................................................... 43
SPECIALIZED TRAINING............................................................................................................................. 44
FIRST-LINE SUPERVISOR TRAINING ........................................................................................................... 45
COMMAND .............................................................................................................................................. 46
ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS ........................................................................................................47
INTERNAL AFFAIRS ................................................................................................................................... 47
EARLY INTERVENTION SYSTEMS ................................................................................................................ 53
OFF-DUTY AND SECONDARY EMPLOYMENT ................................................................................................ 59
POLICE PURSUIT ..................................................................................................................................... 70
SUBSTANCE ABUSE ................................................................................................................................. 73
BIAS-FREE POLICING ..................................................................................................................78
OFFICER TRACKING AND MONITORING ....................................................................................................... 78
RECRUIT AND IN-SERVICE TRAINING........................................................................................................... 78
DEALING WITH COMPLAINTS OF BIAS ......................................................................................................... 79
EFFORTS TO ADDRESS UNCONSCIOUS BIAS ............................................................................................... 79
FURTHER CHALLENGES ............................................................................................................................ 79
ADDITIONAL IDENTIFIED DEPARTMENT MATTERS ..........................................................................80

ORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS ............................................................................................................. 80
SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT ROTATION .............................................................................................................. 80
IMPAIRED DRIVING ................................................................................................................................... 81
CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAMS ................................................................................................................... 82
CONCLUSION ..........................................................................................................................84

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June 2014
Police Executive Research Forum
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In February 2014, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) was contracted by the City of
Miami Beach to provide a review and assessment of the Miami Beach, FL Police Department
(MBPD). The study was a result of several high profile police incidents that had occurred over
the last several years. In 2011, a Memorial Day police-involved shooting, followed two months
later by an inebriated police officer riding an all-terrain vehicle on the beach striking and injuring
two pedestrians, led to significant changes and increased accountability within the MBPD. But
an August 2013 incident involving the death of a young man following an electronic control
weapon deployment prompted the city to request an external review of the agency. Of note, the
focus of this study was to examine how the department operates today, and NOT how the
department operated under previous chiefs or elected administrations.

As part of the assessment process, PERF conducted an on-site visit from February 24-27, 2014.
The on-site visit included five team members. PERF conducted over 50 interviews.
Interviewees included city leaders, the police chief, command staff, unit supervisors, and focus
groups. The MBPD provided documents for review prior to the teams on-site visit including
policies, personnel agreements, training materials and other departmental information.

The City of Miami Beach is located within Miami-Dade County in southeastern Florida. The
city is a barrier island of approximately seven square miles in land area. Miami Beach is a
popular coastal resort community with beaches, entertainment, and cultural activities with well-
known venues including the Art Deco Historic District and Ocean Drive. It is a popular location
for domestic and international tourists, seasonal residents, and year-round residents. The city
had an estimated 2012 population of 90,588 residents
1
but reaches several hundred thousand for
special events and weekends.

Scope of Work
The City of Miami Beach requested PERF to conduct its assessment of the MBPD concentrating
on five areas:

1. Evaluation of the use of force and reporting processes;
2. Evaluation of recruitment, selection, hiring and promotion of officers;
3. Evaluation of departmental training;


1 US Census Bureau QuickFacts, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/12/1245025.html
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4. Assessment of the departments accountability practices, early intervention system,
internal affairs procedures, and off-duty employment policies and practices; and
5. Evaluation of the departments policy, training and practice to prevent biased based
policing.
These specific topic areas were examined in relation to the departments overall policies,
procedures and practices. PERF focused particular attention on the MBPDs people, values, and
organizational culture.

At the request of city leaders, PERF included the assistance of Greenwood and Streicher, LLC, a
Cincinnati based consulting firm specializing in policing and government accountability
solutions. Coordination of the project was provided by the citys Office of Emergency
Management.

Methodology
PERFs assessment of the MBPD was a targeted approach concentrating on high risk and
sensitive issues. Three primary methodologies were used for the collection of information:
personal interviews; the collection, review and analysis of available data; and personal on-site
observations.

Documents provided by the city and department and reviewed by PERF included:
UCR crime records for the last three years,
MBPD position allocations for the last three years,
All agreements with employee organizations,
Contracts, memorandums of understanding, mutual aid, etc. between the MBPD and
other justice or law enforcement agencies which have an impact on city police services,
Prior assessments and staffing studies of the MBPD,
Use of force reports and internal affairs investigations,
MBPD statements of mission, vision and values,
Department policy and procedures,
Department training courses and curricula, and
Department reports including strategic plans and annual reports.
PERFs analysis of information was both quantitative and qualitative. PERF identified current
conditions and business practices, then compared them to progressive practices in policing,
considering the MBPDs beach, entertainment and cultural policing environment. Interviews
conducted with over 50 stakeholders examined previous high profile police incidents, current
department practices, departmental policy, training, and community views and expectations.
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Findings
Overall, PERF found the Miami Beach Police Department to have the characteristics of an
effective law enforcement agency. The department is accredited through the Commission on
Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and, following a Gold Standard
Assessment in March 2013, received the Accreditation with Excellence Award. This report
contains recommendations that the department can use to further improve its operations. A list
of these recommendations and the section of the report to which they belong is below.

Organizational Structure

Recommendation: The MBPD should consider flattening the organizational structure at
the executive level thus improving the accountability and efficiency of command level
personnel. In addition, consideration should be given to combining the Support Services and
Technical Services Divisions under the command of one senior executive who, along with
the Operations Division commander, would report directly to the chief of police.


Recruitment, Selection, Hiring and the Promotional Process

Recommendation: The MBPD should establish a diverse selection review committee
comprised of four department members of four different ranks, one Department of
Human Resources personnel expert, and one community member to evaluate and rate
future police applicants. The group should review all eligible applicants in a formal
process, rating each qualified applicant as either above average, acceptable, or not a good
candidate for the agency. The chief would then review the committees
recommendations and, with final approval of the Department of Human Resources
director, select the best candidates for the city. The inclusion of both a Department of
Human Resources personnel expert and a Miami Beach community member bring
diversity and transparency to the process. The community member should be a volunteer
position approved by the department and available to serve a two year term.

Recommendation: The city and MBPD should negotiate alternatives to the current
contract so that the chief of police has the ability to select promotional candidates from a
group of top candidates rather than having to select the highest ranked candidate. The
ranks of sergeant and lieutenant are key positions within a law enforcement agency. The
chief of police should have the ability to select promotional candidates based on the
agreed upon testing process as well as candidates interpersonal skills, work performance,
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leadership capabilities, and for the best interests of the agency. This can be accomplished
by providing the chief with a small group of candidates to select from for each
promotional opportunity. Many law enforcement union contracts allow the chief to select
any one of the top three (or top five) highest scoring candidates.

Use of Force

Recommendation: The MBPD should amend the term used to describe the Taser
from the currently used Conducted Electrical Weapon to Electronic Control Weapon
(ECW). In 2011, PERF and the U.S. Department of Justices Office of Community
Oriented Policing Services released the 2011 Electronic Control Weapons Guidelines
publication
2.
The book serves as a guideline for all agencies regarding policy, training,
use, medical considerations, reporting and accountability, and public information and
community relations. The publication specifies the change in terminology from
Conducted Energy Device and other terms to Electronic Control Weapon.

Recommendation: The MBPD should refer to the ECW in all MBPD documents and
practices, including the Supervisors Report of Control of Persons, as Less-Lethal
force rather than the currently used term Non-Lethal.

Recommendation: The MBPD should review and change General Order 13-03,
subsection 4 which states, The CEW can be utilized by deploying the probes or using the
drive stun. The policy should state Officers deploying the ECW are discouraged from
using the weapon in the drive stun mode as a pain compliance technique. The drive stun
mode should be used only to supplement the probe mode to complete the incapacitation
circuit, or as a countermeasure to gain separation between the officer and the subject so
that the officer can consider another force option.

Recommendation: The MBPD should add additional language to General Order 13-03,
subsection 4 which states that when deploying the ECW, use of the CEW shall be
discontinued once compliance is achieved. In order to provide further clarification to
this directive, it is recommended that language be inserted to the effect that Personnel
should use an ECW for one standard cycle (five seconds) and then evaluate the situation
to determine if subsequent cycles are necessary. Personnel should consider that exposure


2 http://cops.usdoj.gov/Publications/e021111339-PERF-ECWGb.pdf
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to the ECW for longer than 15 seconds (whether due to multiple applications or
continuous cycling) may increase the risk of death or serious injury. Any subsequent
applications should be independently justifiable, and the risks should be weighed against
other force options.

Recommendation: The MBPD should conduct random audits of ECW data in order to
reconcile existing use of force incidents with recorded activations. After each use of an
ECW, a download of weapon data should occur and a printout kept along with the use of
force investigation. General Order 13-03 Conducted Electrical Weapon (issued 4/25/13
and supersedes SOP-17-Use of Force), makes no mention of downloading data from each
assigned ECW (Taser), either randomly or following the use of the weapon. Such data
provides clear evidence to show whether an ECW was deployed and whether the
recommended five-second cycle was exceeded.

Recommendation: The MBPD should have supervisors conduct daily roll-call
inspections of all personnel in order to verify that all officers are carrying all required
less-lethal weapons currently available to them. It is imperative to ensure that each
officer assigned to street duty has both the Aerosol Deterrent Spray and the ECW
available as less-lethal tools for any encounter. This gives the officer several options
other than resorting to the use of a firearm.

Recommendation: The MBPD no longer trains its officers to perform Applied Carotid
Triangular Restraint (ACTR), and does not recertify any officers; therefore the MBPD
should remove the ACTR from the use of force policy.

Recommendation: The MBPD should mandate a second yearly firearm qualification
course that is scenario based and tactically oriented. Scenario-based training will be
well received by officers and is critical to ensuring the department is reviewing the use of
force policy and preparing its officers for critical incidents including active shooter
situations, potential cross-fire situations, and use of concealment and cover.

Recommendation: The MBPD should require officers to complete a Control of Persons
report form for those instances when they use force but which do not rise to the
requirement that a supervisor complete the form. The current policy, SOP 017, section
V. Reporting Use of Force Incidents, does not require a supervisor to complete the
Supervisors Report of Control of Persons form when the use of force does not result in
an injury to the subject, when it is not likely to cause an injury to the subject or when the
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subject does not complain of an injury. Officers may document their use of force on their
incident report but there is no systematic way that these reports can be retrieved.
Therefore, the department does not have a complete view of the frequency and outcomes
of the use of force by officers. The annual report submitted by the Internal Affairs
commander is based on Control of Persons reports, not on all episodes were force was
used.

Recommendation: The MBPD needs to revise SOP 117 section IV.B.1.f, which limits
the officers contact to an attorney, an immediate family member, and/or a member of the
clergy or counselor, to include contact with a supervisor, who according to section
IV.B.2. a.4) is required to debrief the officer to ascertain if the officer, subject or any
other person is injured, if there are suspect at large, and the extent of the scene.

Recommendation: The MBPD should revise SOP 017 to specify that the same reporting
and investigative process will be used whenever deadly force is used regardless of the
outcome. It was reported to PERF interviewers that the same process is used regardless
of outcome. The policy needs to be revised to mandate this.

Recommendation: The MBPD should create a Use of Force Review Board (UFRB) to
review all cases involving use of force, both serious and minor. Not only should cases
involving firearms, use of an ECW, apprehension involving a K-9 bite, or any other case
involving serious injuries to officers and/or arrestees be assessed, so should cases where
no injury occurs. The function and operation of the panel can be handled in a similar
way to the Internal Affairs Investigations Disposition Panels already in existence, and
governed by General Order #12-05. The Internal Affairs Unit, which currently conducts
quarterly statistical analyses of use of force cases (on average 210 cases per year) where
the Control of Persons report is used should have the ability to recommend that certain
cases that meet specific criteria be sent to the UFRB.

It is recommended that a UFRB meet at least every two months. The board should
consist of a deputy chief or major chairing the group, two captains, and the manager of
the training unit.

The purpose of the board is to analyze each use of force, discuss the merits of the case,
and identify administrative sanctions, commendations, or training needs for each case.
Specifically the board should review each case with respect to:

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Compliance with MBPD policies;
Whether proper tactics were used by the officer(s);
Assessment of risk management issues for the department;
Adequacy of training; and
Whether the level of force was appropriate for the incident.

After thorough review of each case by the board, the board should recommend whether
further action is needed. If further action is needed the case should be returned to
Internal Affairs for follow-up.

Recommendation: The MBPD should include language in each Memorandum of
Understanding for assistance specifying that visiting officers must abide by MBPD use of
force policies. Furthermore, the MBPD should conduct recurring training sessions to
officers of outside agencies who regularly operate in the city of Miami Beach, on MBPD
use of force policies and reporting requirements. Completion of such training should be a
requirement for outside officers to work either on-duty or off duty in Miami Beach.

Department Training

Recommendation: The MBPD should update the Field Training Manual to reflect the
departments switch from utilizing a use of force matrix, or continuum, to using a system
of objective reasonableness, in which officers are required to gauge the level of a
subjects resistance, and respond with the appropriate level of force based on totality of
circumstances. This change is keeping with progressive practices and the landmark U.S.
Supreme Court case Graham v. Connor (490 U.S. 386).

Recommendation: The MBPD should require an additional 20 hours of annual
mandatory re-training for each officer. Although the department meets the minimum
FDLE requirement with 10 hours each year, this is a limited amount of time to cover a
variety of important topics for a modern and progressive police agency. This additional
training should include contemporary local or national law enforcement issues that will
likely have an impact on policing in Miami Beach.

Recommendation: The MBPD should include in upcoming annual mandatory re-
training sessions training specific to the topic of de-escalation and minimizing the use of
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force. A July 2013 PERF publication titled Civil Rights Investigations of Local Police:
Lessons Learned
3
reveals that police use of force has been one of the primary issues
behind the U.S. Department of Justices (USDOJ) investigations of local police
departments for civil rights violations. One of the key aspects identified by USDOJ in
each mandate is the use of de-escalation techniques. De-escalation techniques involve
the ability of the officer to reduce or eliminate force as resistance decreases or stops. De-
escalation can also include the use of verbal skills to bring a peaceful conclusion to a
potentially confrontational event. This can be critical when dealing with subjects
exhibiting erratic or dangerous behavior due to mental illness, medical impairments, or
the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Recommendation: The MBPD should consider training all officers to deal with civil
disturbances with large crowds by providing Mobile Field Force training. The
department currently has a contingent of bicycle officers trained in the rapid response to
crowd related issues using the bicycle as a crowd control tool. In addition, there is a
regional civil disturbance team that has six MBPD officers assigned that can be activated
upon request. But in Miami Beach, large crowds are a common occurrence and problems
can arise quickly, leaving little time for response and regional assistance. Conducting
Mobile Field Force training for all officers on civil disturbance response, techniques,
and handling large crowds would be an asset to the agency. Conducting a yearly review
of this response should be included in the departments annual mandatory re-training.

Recommendation: The MBPD should provide basic first-line supervisor training to new
sergeants immediately following promotion by developing an in-house course. The
course can be created using computer based instruction, required readings, and
discussions with veteran sergeants and managers. By using adult based learning
principles, the absence of a readily available traditional training course can be countered.
The instruction must cover a variety of skills including basic responsibilities, department
expectations, communication skills, performance evaluations, and handling critical
incidents including use of force, ECW deployments, and responding to mentally ill
subjects. Skills in maximizing procedural justice and de-escalation should be included.
As openings become available for additional first-line supervisor training outside of the


3 Critical Issues in Policing Series, Civil Rights Investigations of Local Police: Lessons Learned. Police Executive
Research Forum, July 2013. http://policeforum.org/library/critical-issues-in-policing-
series/CivilRightsInvestigationsofLocalPolice.pdf

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agency, the sergeants should be given the training in order to further their understanding
of the position and its role and responsibilities. The department should continue its
current practice of assigning a more experienced sergeant to the newly promoted
sergeants for mentoring and assistance.

Recommendation: The department should institute a formal leadership development
program to prepare future leaders. Components should include requirements for formal
education, locally available leadership courses, and completion of at least one nationally
recognized course such as the FBIs Executive Institute, PERFs Senior Management
Institute for Police, Northwestern Universitys School of Police Staff and Command, or
the Southern Police Institutes Administrative Officers Course.

Accountability Systems

Recommendation: The MBPD should fill the Internal Affairs deputy commander
position with a lieutenant. This will allow for multiple layers of review of Internal
Affairs investigators work product.

Recommendation: The MBPD should add a requirement to its standard operating
procedure for the Internal Affairs function that members of the IA unit bring any conflict
of interest that is related to a current investigation to the attention of their immediate
supervisor and/or commanding officer and withdraw from such investigations. This
action will help to support the City of Miami Beachs efforts to ensure objectivity,
fairness, and equity in the MBPD IA function.

Recommendation: The MBPD should assemble a comprehensive policy and procedure
manual that includes specific directives which address the various issues necessary to
complete a fair and unbiased IA investigation, e.g. locating and interviewing witnesses,
prohibiting leading or hostile questions, judging witness credibility, probing
inconsistencies in witness/officer statements, obtaining medical records, and other
investigative tasks.

Recommendation: The City of Miami Beach should identify the primary languages
spoken within its jurisdiction by both residents and visitors so the MBPD can incorporate
them into the publication of its current complaint/compliment forms.

Recommendation: The Miami Beach Police Department should periodically publicize
its citizen complaint process and reiterate the access points for filing complaints against
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or compliments in support of police officers. Currently complaints can be made via the
departments web site but other venues can include community centers, chamber of
commerce offices, libraries, home offices of local advocacy groups, and other centers for
public gatherings.

Recommendation: The MBPD should add to the section of their standard operating
procedure which pertains to IA investigations, language requiring and specifically
directing the investigation of all incidents of collateral misconduct. Such investigations
should be identified as Collateral Misconduct Investigations and be subject to the same
closures as primary misconduct investigations. They should be reported as a separate
category of internal investigations.

Recommendation: The MBPD should use the full functionality of the IAPro system
incorporating all aspects of an effective Early Intervention System (EIS) including a data
sharing principle that would allow access by appropriate supervisors and command
personnel. Appropriate training should be provided to all supervisory/command personnel
in the agency to familiarize each with the IAPro system, its potential benefit when used
correctly, and to ensure effective implementation of the agencys EI system.

Recommendation: The MBPD should examine the extent to which there are differences
in officer behavior depending on assignment, as measured by triggering the Early
Intervention thresholds. Are officers as a group regularly assigned to the more active or
risky beats and shifts in South Beach more likely to exhibit behaviors that approach or
exceed the EI triggers than officers working the more placid beats and shifts in other parts
of the city? If such comparisons show significant differences, the department should, at
least temporarily, implement peer based comparison procedures as part of the EI system.
Officer performance should be assessed against that of their group of peers who work in
similar circumstances. However, if disparities are discovered based on work assignments,
the department should put greater emphasis on training its officers in procedural justice
and de-escalation techniques with the eventual expectation that a single set of thresholds
would apply to all officers.

Recommendation: The MBPD should adopt an annual external police oversight
mechanism such as an independent auditor, ombudsman, retired judge or prosecutor or
other hybrid component to conduct a review of all internal affairs investigations. The
U.S. Department of Justice has routinely mandated the creation of an external oversight
component in consent decrees and memoranda of agreements during the past 15 years.
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Such documents serve as excellent references for the considerations involved in
establishing an oversight mechanism.

Recommendation: The MBPD should implement a records management system,
designed specifically for the IA function, that incorporates cloud-based technology to
provide redundant backup systems in a secure environment. This system would permit
personnel to utilize electronic tablets for note-taking, recording statements, data sharing,
photographs, video production, and other functions during the investigative process, thus
improving effectiveness and efficiency. Such a transition would also permit the office to
be freed of clutter resulting from storage of closed case files maintained in compliance
with records retention laws.

Recommendation: The MBPD should strongly consider implementing the use of officer
body worn cameras. Technology in this field has improved significantly over the past
five years and adoption of this equipment is widely seen as the wave of the future in
policing. When used properly, these systems provide real-time audio and visual
recordings of all incidents where an officer has invoked his or her authority as a public
official. These recordings can greatly assist an agency in resolving complaints;
identifying, collecting, and preserving evidence; enhancing training; and improving front-
line supervision. Cloud-based, digital evidence management systems are also available
which assist the agency in maintaining the integrity of its investigations. The U.S.
Department of Justices Community Oriented Policing Services and the Police Executive
Research Forum will soon be releasing policy and practice recommendations regarding
the use of body worn cameras.

Off-Duty and Secondary Employment

Recommendation: The city should revamp its Off-Duty Employment Office and
establish it as a coordination office that is free of influence and/or control of the police
department. In addition, the city should consider creating a director position to act in an
autonomous fashion although still governed by a highly structured set of rules and
regulations specifically designed to enhance and maintain the integrity of the department
and city government. The director would evaluate and coordinate off-duty details with an
executive level MBPD staff member to ensure adequate controls and staffing are in place.
Where concerns over the secondary employment system exist, these safeguards can serve
as a major step in establishing control over the liability associated with off-duty paid
details.

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Recommendation: The MBPD should mandate that all details are controlled and
coordinated and that all officers are assigned by the Off-Duty Employment Office with
the office configured separate of the MBPD as recommend above. The MBPD job
coordinator position should be abolished and any closed details eliminated. The Off-
Duty Employment Office should perform all the duties that have been delegated to the
job coordinators and should be staffed appropriately. There should be no distinctions
among the assignment processes based on the type of detail. Instead, the Off-Duty
Employment Office should maintain a master calendar of all detail opportunities, along
with a master list of employees desiring to work off-duty details. The initial officer list
should be by seniority. Three weeks in advance of a detail, the first person on the list
should be offered the opportunity to work the detail. If that person chooses not to work
the detail, then the next person on the list is offered the opportunity, and so on down the
list. Once an officer accepts a detail, his/her name goes to the bottom of the list. If a
person refuses two straight opportunities to work, his/her name goes to the bottom of the
list. This process will end detail ownership and will provide a fair and equitable
process for those wishing to work off-duty details.

Recommendation: MBPD GO #13-08 section X.B.4 should be revised to prohibit
employees from being responsible for finding a replacement Full-Time Sworn Officer if
the employee is unable to work a scheduled off-duty detail. The employee should
immediately notify the Off-Duty Employment Office, which will find a replacement.
The MBPD should consider one of the available off-the-shelf personnel software
scheduling tools to assist the agency in notifying and scheduling officers for off-duty
details.

Recommendation: The Miami Beach Police Department should change SOP 011 section
X.B.12 from Officers of a higher rank may work a detail coordinated by a lesser
ranking officer to Officers of a higher rank are expressly prohibited from working a
detail coordinated by a lesser ranking officer. This recommendation may be moot if
the department eliminates the job coordinator position as recommended above.

Recommendation: The MBPD should mandate that a period of at least 15 minutes must
exist between an officers on duty working hours and his or her secondary employment.
This action would protect both the city and the secondary employer from paying for
services which cannot possibly be provided (i.e., it is impossible for an officer to be in
two places at the same time).

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Recommendation: Although command staff positions may work certain types of off-duty
jobs they should be prohibited from working off-duty details. The deputy chief, majors
and captains should be removed from the list of those eligible for off-duty details. These
management employees are salaried rather than hourly workers. They are not covered by
the FOP contract and according to federal Fair Labor Standards Act provisions are not
eligible for overtime. Working off-duty details diminishes their standing as command
officers.

Recommendation: The MBPD should further restrict the number of hours an officer
should be permitted to work secondary employment work on the days the officer is
working. The department should prohibit officers from working more than 14 hours in a
24 hour work day 10 hours on duty and no more than four hours in off-duty details.
The limitations on off-duty work provide protection against officers working an
excessive amount of hours which can lead to reduced effectiveness and a lack of
performance in either on, or off-duty capacities. The MBPD currently permits officers to
work 72 hours in a work week (40 hours on duty and up to 32 hours off-duty) and 18
hours in a day (i.e.,10 hours in the regular shift and up to an eight hour detail before or
after their regular tour of duty). This does not include off-time spent in court or overtime
required by exceptional circumstances. Exhaustion may lead to health issues and other
problems in ones personal and professional life, not to mention a reduced ability to
function effectively. The department should consider redefining the current limit of 72
hours worked per week to include regular hours, off-duty details, and overtime.

Recommendation: The Miami Beach Police Department should expressly prohibit its
employees from working off-duty as Personal Security Escorts as now permitted by SOP
0111, section XVI. Working as a body guard can easily create a conflict of interest and
could impair an officers independence of judgment.

Recommendation: The MBPD should incorporate language in its off-duty request
forms to remind the officer of his/her duties, obligations, and expectations. Although
these issues are addressed in other rules and regulations, the annual registration and re-
registration is a valuable tool in establishing the officers knowledge of his or her duties
and responsibilities. It also serves as a reminder to the officer that he or she is not an
independent contractor but instead an employee of the City of Miami Beach acting under
the color of law. This requirement would also serve to counter any claim that an officer
did not know, was not aware, or was never told that he or she was responsible to the city
as an employee. This excuse occasionally surfaces in arbitrations where an employee
pleads ignorance as an excuse for inappropriate behavior, somehow rationalizing that the
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city is at fault for not having made them aware of their status as an employee of the city,
despite working an off-duty detail in uniform and under color of law.

Use of Force Shooting at Vehicles

Recommendation: The MBPD should make it a high priority to update its Use of Force
policy to simply and specifically state that officers are prohibited from shooting at
vehicles unless the occupants are attempting to use deadly forceother than the
vehicleagainst them. Such policy is a nationally accepted best practice. Shooting the
operator of a moving vehicle does not result in a stopped vehicle it simply raises the
chances of danger or injury from an uncontrolled vehicle.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Recommendation: The city and the MBPD should develop clear and unambiguous
policy and protocols that mandate alcohol testing for police officers on both a random
and reasonable belief basis. Public confidence in the police department and the safety of
both the public and police officers will be enhanced by testing aimed at precluding that
officers are impaired by alcohol (as well as drugs).

Recommendation: The City of Miami Beach should expand its drug testing policies for
the police department to include modern, commonly abused, synthetic drugs such as bath
salts and performance enhancing drugs, such as steroids. Furthermore, the city should
include alcohol in its testing policy as a means of enhancing its commitment to creating
the safest possible operating environment for both internal and external customers.
These expansions to the current policy would bring the City of Miami Beach in line with
contemporary best practices and help to hold its police officers to a high standard of
accountability.

Recommendation: The City of Miami Beach should strengthen its substance abuse
policies governing the MBPD as follows. The departments policies should replicate the
citys policies as a method of reiterating the importance of officers working without
impairment. MBPDs policy, as cited in city policy, should:

Clearly identify the conditions which trigger tests administered for drugs and/or
alcohol, i.e. pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-crash and
serious use of force, return to duty, and follow up.
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Define any incidents where drug and/or alcohol testing is mandated, e.g.
immediately following an officers involvement in a critical incident. Policy
should include a prohibition from drinking any alcoholic beverages or ingesting
any drug until after testing has been completed.
Define exactly which supervisor(s) can make a decision regarding reasonable
suspicion testing and the specific criteria that personnel must consider in making
such a decision.
Include language requiring every employee to immediately report to a supervisor
or commander, any knowledge or suspicion they have that a fellow employee may
be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol while on duty. This mandate
should also include language which requires all employees to immediately report
themselves to a supervisor if they have reported for duty under the influence of
any alcohol or drug, including prescribed medications, which may impair
performance.
Include language which prohibits the use of alcohol for a specified amount of
time before reporting for ones tour of duty, e.g. 8 hours prior to performance of
duty.
Include language which provides guidance for action if an employee tests positive
for alcohol yet the BAC is less than 0.04%, such as immediate relief from duty
and restriction from returning to duty for a specified period of time (24 hours)
plus follow up testing to determine his or her level of sobriety. The city has
benchmarked 0.04% as the threshold for determining a positive alcohol test.
There is no language directing action for a person who tests between 0.02 and
0.039% therefore, it appears as though such an incident would simply be ignored.
This is a critical consideration as police officers may be required to make split-
second decisions about the use of deadly force or operate a vehicle under
emergency conditions during their tour of duty.
Mandate employee training to include the distribution of educational materials
regarding these requirements and methods for meeting such requirements.
Define a specific training period for all employees to ensure awareness of the
Citys policies, procedures and protocols.
Mandate specific annual training for all supervisors on the various performance
indicators of probable drug or alcohol use/impairment. The training should also
include instruction on the specific duties and responsibilities of all supervisors
should they be confronted with such a situation including the report of such
conditions from a fellow employee or a member of the public.


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Bias-Free Policing

Recommendation: The MBPD should address perceptions of racial bias in its special
events operations by engaging in targeted outreach to civil rights, civil liberties, and
minority rights advocacy groups. This will assist in improving its relationships with
various advocacy groups and members of the public. In addition, the City should
consider creating a special events coordinator position within the department as discussed
in the off-duty details section.

Additional Identified Department Matters

Recommendation: The MBPD should review duty assignments particularly among the
Special Operations Units Assertive Crime Enforcement, Crime Suppression Team, and
Strategic Investigations Squad to ensure that periodic rotations are occurring for both
officers and sergeants. Proactive prevention measures such as rotation of duty
assignments in areas described above should be part of any agencys misconduct
prevention strategy. A maximum 4-year assignment in the Special Operations Unit
would provide officers throughout the department with an opportunity to serve in these
specialized units as well as provide fresh perspectives and diversity in the units.

Recommendation: The MBPD should enhance its DUI enforcement efforts through the
combined use of the Motor Squad, the Special Operations Units Assertive Crime
Enforcement Squad and two Crime Suppression Teams. These units, working together as
part of their regular enforcement duties using saturation patrols and occasional DUI
checkpoints, would enhance the departments DUI enforcement efforts and combat other
potential criminal acts discovered through traffic enforcement.

Recommendation: The MBPD should implement crisis intervention training in both
post academy and its yearly in-service training. Based on the number of mental health
and alcohol related incidents the agency responds to, crisis intervention training is a
necessary and practical tool.

Recommendation: The city and the MBPD should establish crisis intervention teams
that are a combination of law enforcement officers and mental health providers. Such
teams in other jurisdictions are often available seven days a week and dispatched by 911
operators. The teams are most often used in police encounters with mentally ill persons,
suicidal threats, emergency commitments, drug and alcohol related crisis, and situational
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crisis. Incorporating a working team of officers or combination of officer and mental
health providers specially trained to handle crisis intervention events would serve as an
asset to the city. A model to be examined is in place in the Palm Beach County Sheriffs
Office.



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AGENCY OVERVIEW
The Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) is a full-service law enforcement agency
comprised of an authorized 387 sworn officers and approximately 86 civilian personnel. The
department previously had 157 civilian personnel but recently reassigned the 911 communication
center responsibilities to the citys Office of Emergency Management.

The department is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement
Agencies (CALEA). Following a Gold Standard Assessment in March 2013, the agency
received the Accreditation with Excellence Award. The Gold Standard Assessment for
CALEA is a voluntary assessment that focuses on processes and outcomes associated with
standards specific to the agency. It is designed to measure the impact of accreditation as
compared to just confirming compliance.
4


Sworn officers at the rank of officer, sergeant, and lieutenant are all represented by the Miami
Beach Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 8 (FOP). Command level personnel serving as captains,
majors, and the deputy chief, all serve at the selection and pleasure of the chief of police. An
individual serving in this capacity can be demoted from this position and return to their
previously held position of lieutenant or below unless the reason for demotion is misconduct
resulting in discipline and termination.

As part of PERFs review and assessment preparation process, it conducted a broad review of the
MBPDs current organizational structure. The focus of this review and follow-up discussion
with command personnel centered on the following areas:

Is the departments structure in line with the structure of comparable agencies?
Does the departments structure correspond to what the professional knowledge of the
study team has discovered to be efficient and effective in terms of efficient allocation of
personnel and effective matching of organizational units to tasks?
What alterations are needed in the structure to help the department implement its strategic
vision?






4 http://www.calea.org/content/calea-gold-standard-assessment
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The departments organizational chart follows:



Office of the Chief of
Police

Internal Affairs

Community Affairs
Office

FOP

Financial
Management

Grants Management
and Public Safety
Special Projects

Planning and
Research

PAL

Support Services
Division

Technical Services
Division

Training Unit

Property and
Evidence Unit

Business and
Personnel
Resources Unit

Professional
Standards and
Information Resources

Records
Management
Section

Operations
Division

Operations Division
XO

Special Operations
Unit

Area 1 (South)

Area 2 (Middle)

Area 3 (North)

Criminal
Investigations Unit
(CIU)

Special Events
Lieutenant

AIU

School Liaison

Assertive Crime
Enforcement Squad
(ACE)

Crime Suppression
Team
(CST)
Strategic
Investigations
Squad
(SIS)
Neighborhood
Resource Officer

Motorcycle Squad

Washington Ave.
Walking Beat

Neighborhood
Resource Officer

Neighborhood
Resource Officer

Homicide

41st Street
Walking Beat
Collins Ave. and
71st St.
Walking Beat
Property and
Economic Crimes

Motorcycle Squad

Motorcycle Squad

Robbery

Detention Officers
(Citywide)
Marine Patrol
(Citywide)
RDA Officer

Crime Analysis

Crime Analysis

Special Victims

Violent Crimes

Crime Scene
Squad

Crime Analysis

K-9 Squad

Crime Analysis




The MBPD is organized into three divisions: Operations Division, Support Services Division,
and Technical Services Division. The Support Services Division includes the Training Unit, the
Property and Evidence Unit, and the Business and Personnel Resources Unit. The Technical
Services Division is comprised of Professional Standards and Information Resources, and the
Records Management Section. All patrol, specialized operational response teams, and
investigative components are assigned within the Operations Division.

Although the configuration of the department at the division level is commonly found in
similarly sized municipal agencies, the number and rank of personnel reporting to each division
commander, a major, varies significantly among divisions. For example, in the Technical
Services Division, there is only one lieutenant and one captain. In a traditional paramilitary
organization, the lieutenant reports directly to the captain who then reports directly to the
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division major. This leaves both the Technical Services major and captain with only one direct
reporting sworn officer; a span of control of one. There are 19 total personnel under the
command of the Technical Services Division major compared to almost 250 sworn and civilian
personnel under the command of the Operations Division major. This is a significant difference
in responsibility and accountability and what PERF believes is an inefficient use of command
personnel.

Similar to the Technical Services Division, the Support Services Division has roughly 40 total
personnel with no captains and three lieutenants reporting directly to the division major.

Recommendation: The MBPD should consider flattening the organizational
structure at the executive level thus improving the accountability and efficiency of
command level personnel. In addition, consideration should be given to combining the
Support Services and Technical Services Divisions under the command of one senior
executive who, along with the Operations Division commander, would report directly to
the chief of police.

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MAJOR ELEMENTS ASSESSED
The following sections describe the key areas examined as part of the review and assessment
process. During the course of PERFs review, several additional areas for the city and MBPDs
consideration were identified. They too have been described with appropriate recommendations.
Recruitment, Selection, Hiring and the Promotional Process
Recruiting, evaluating, and selecting the right individuals for a police agency are essential for the
departments success. The process involves many steps, often including a written exam, physical
agility test, oral interview, drug screen, background investigation, polygraph, and medical and
psychological screening. The process can often take months to complete before officers are
offered a position within the agency. Ensuring a fair, impartial, valid, and reliable process that
attracts diverse and qualified individuals is necessary to create a professional law enforcement
agency.
Recruiting
As a result of good pay, benefits, and a world renowned location, the MBPD has had no notable
issues in recruiting a large pool of police applicants. The recruiting process, which is initially
handled by the citys Department of Human Resources, involves an on-line advertisement and
application process that is open for several weeks or as needed.

In the mid 2000s, the city began recruiting and hiring only currently Florida certified police
officers or applicants who had successfully completed a Florida Basic Law Enforcement
Training program. Most applicants therefore come from other Florida law enforcement agencies
or have completed an academy program and are eligible for certification if hired. Interviews with
department staff viewed hiring certified officers or officers eligible for certification as a cost
savings approach implemented by the city. The department previously had a more traditional
process of hiring most recruits with no experience and placing them into a locally run police
academy. Although there can be benefits and potential problems with hiring only certified police
officers, with various training and experience from their previous agency, the MBPD has not
identified any particular problems or patterns where this has been an issue for the agency.

A primary disadvantage of this system is that the department ends up hiring only those who self-
selected themselves to be police officers. Many departments of Miami Beachs size strive to
create a workforce with diverse backgrounds and have recruitment efforts that seek to attract
teachers, home-makers, accountants, clerks and other who bring their diverse life experiences
into policing.
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The city has recently sought the services of IO Solutions
5
, an Illinois-based human resources
firm that specializes in public safety personnel processes, to assist the city in improving its hiring
and promotional process. IO Solutions conducted job analyses for the positions of police officer,
sergeant, and lieutenant. Using the results of this analysis, they are scheduled to provide the city
with assistance in its hiring process soon. They have already assisted in the promotional process.
The new hiring process will include a new written test and a structured panel interview. IO
Solutions will then prepare a list of qualified officers for submission to the city. The test and
structured interview is a new and effective step in the hiring process and is commonly found in
progressive police agencies.
Background Investigation and Selection of Police Officers
Once a list of qualified candidates has been provided to the MBPD, detectives from the Business
and Personnel Resources Unit initiate the background investigation. The process can take two to
three months and was found to be an extensive and thorough process, similar to those used in
other professional police agencies. The process includes the following 15 areas:

1. Review of current and previous employers going back 10 years,
2. Criminal history checks,
3. Confirmation of educational history,
4. Review of use of controlled dangerous substances,
5. Review of military service if applicable,
6. Review of prior police certification,
7. Personal references and review of social media sites,
8. Review of credit history,
9. Review for application to other police agencies which includes review of internal files
and issues,
10. Review of driving record,
11. Neighborhood checks,
12. Home interview,
13. Truth verification testing (MBPD utilizes the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer),
14. Medical evaluation (following conditional offer of employment), and
15. Psychological evaluation (following conditional offer of employment).
When thoroughly evaluated, the 15 areas identified above should provide the agency with
sufficient information to determine whether candidates should be eliminated from further


5 http://www.iosolutions.org/default.aspx
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consideration for failure to meet state or city standards. For example, elimination could occur as
a result of admitted or identified drug use that exceeds standards, criminal activity, unresolved
credit issues, or excessive debt. An essential piece of the background investigation is to ensure
the candidate has sound moral character as determined by the agency. Interviews of department
staff and review of the department policy and practice indicate the department is following
progressive practices in the background process.

Upon completion of the background investigation, applicants who meet all minimum standards
are reviewed by the Support Services Division sergeants, lieutenants and major. Their
recommendations are then sent to the chief of police for the chiefs selection. Then the
Department of Human Resources director reviews the selection since in Miami Beach the HR
director is the final hiring authority.

Recommendation: The MBPD should establish a diverse selection review committee
comprised of four department members of four different ranks, one Department of
Human Resources personnel expert, and one community member to evaluate and rate
future police applicants. The group should review all eligible applicants in a formal
process, rating each qualified applicant as either above average, acceptable, or not a good
candidate for the agency. The chief would then review the committees
recommendations and, with final approval of the Department of Human Resources
director, select the best candidates for the city. The inclusion of both a Department of
Human Resources personnel expert and a Miami Beach community member bring
diversity and transparency to the process. The community member should be a volunteer
position approved by the department and available to serve a two year term.
Promotional Process
The promotional process for the ranks of sergeant and lieutenant are well described in the
Agreement between City of Miami Beach, Florida and Miami Beach Fraternal Order of Police
William Nichols Lodge No. 8, period covered October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2015.
Highlights of the process are identified below.

The city and MBPD prepare and administer the promotional process every two years. Officers
must have four years of service to be eligible to test for sergeant and that sergeants must have
two years in service at the rank of sergeant to test for lieutenant. Seniority and educational bonus
points are added to a candidates final score. The department may request a potential candidate
not be allowed to partake in the promotional process. Although this does not seem to have been
utilized in the past, it could be used in the event of current or past significant performance or
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policy violations issues. In order to do so, justification must be provided. A final decision as to
whether such a request is granted is made by the city manager or the managers designee from
the Department of Human Resources.

The negotiated bargaining agreement requires that a promotional committee, as established and
defined by the union agreement, be selected to review and determine what test materials should
be used for both the sergeant and lieutenant promotional process. Once this process is
completed, the committee provides its recommendations to the chief of police. The chief then
reviews the recommendations with FOP representatives. Upon mutual agreement, the selected
topics for testing are provided to the citys contractor, IO Solutions. Officers are provided
several months to review and prepare for the test. At the end of the process, each candidate is
provided a numerical score. Any conflicts or issues arising in the promotional process are
handled by the chief of police with the assistance of the director of Human Resources.

IO Solutions has conducted a job analysis for the positions of sergeant and lieutenant. As part of
the process, IO Solutions reviewed position-required skills, knowledge and abilities, discussed
position requirements with various department staff, and conducted ride-alongs to see how
incumbents perform. Based on this analysis, the process now requires that candidates for
sergeants pass a written test with a minimum score of 70%. Those who pass the written exam
are further assessed in a structured process where they must complete a written exercise,
simulate a shift briefing, and undergo a panel interview with sergeants from other police
agencies. The structured process is scored numerically and a final score is calculated with the
written exam and the assessment process each having equal value.

Those competing for lieutenant must pass a written test with a minimum score of 70%. Those
continuing in the process will go through an assessment process starting with a written exercise
involving the preparation of a police operational plan. This is followed by a structured interview
process with interviewers who are lieutenants from other police agencies. The candidates are
provided a numerical score rating their performance in the assessment process. Similar to the
sergeant process, a final score is calculated for each candidate with the written exam and the
assessment process each having equal value.

The outcome of both promotional processes is a list of candidates ranked by numerical score. If
candidates have identical scores, their rank is determined by seniority in their current position.
The list lasts for two years. The current FOP contract requires that the chief appoint the
candidate with the highest score. If there are multiple openings the chief must continue
down the list in rank order.
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Recommendation: The city and MBPD should negotiate alternatives to the current
contract so that the chief of police has the ability to select promotional candidates from a
group of top candidates rather than having to select the highest ranked candidate. The
ranks of sergeant and lieutenant are key positions within a law enforcement agency. The
chief of police should have the ability to select promotional candidates based on the
agreed upon testing process as well as candidates interpersonal skills, work performance,
leadership capabilities, and for the best interests of the agency. This can be accomplished
by providing the chief with a small group of candidates to select from for each
promotional opportunity. Many law enforcement union contracts allow the chief to select
any one of the top three (or top five) highest scoring candidates.

Use of Force
Incidents involving use of force by MBPD officers often gain significant media attention because
of the citys high profile. Miami Beach attracts large groups of people, large scale events and
celebrities. What happens in Miami Beach is often of national interest. MBPD officers, over
the last few years, have been involved in use of force incidents that have resulted in a great deal
of focus on how the police department trains its officers in the use of force.

As part of its review, PERF conducted wide ranging interviews with officers, supervisors,
managers at all levels, and training personnel. PERF also reviewed all MBPD policies and
training documents relating to use of force, use of force investigations conducted by Internal
Affairs, and participated in several ride-alongs to observe first-hand officer interactions with the
community.
Policy
The policy governing use of force in the MBPD is SOP-017, last updated in May 2009.
According to MBPD, an updated policy is being written. At the time of this report, it had not
been released. The various parts of the use of force policy are discussed below.

Firearms

The policy governing the firearms training, use and inspection is SOP-007, last revised in 2011.
The policy provides guidance regarding the types of weapons officers, supervisors and managers
may carry and under which circumstances. Uniformed officers may only carry the Sig Sauer
P226 .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol that is issued by the department. Those in non-uniformed
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assignments, or who are members of the command staff may carry either the P226 or the P239
.40 caliber handgun supplied by the department. Non-uniformed officers are allowed to carry
alternate primary firearms; however, such weapons must be a .40 caliber handgun and must be
purchased by the member and authorized by the range master.

The MBPD also allows officers to carry back-up firearms. The back-up firearm must be an
approved department firearm, purchased by the officer, and carried in a concealed manner.
Officers must provide their own ammunition for training and requalification, and are held
responsible for care and maintenance of the firearm. Weapons are checked annually by firearm
instructors and armors.

The MBPD requires its officers to carry department authorized firearms while off-duty whenever
driving a city owned or leased vehicle.

Conducted Electrical Weapon

General Order 13-03 amended the term Electronic Control Device (ECD) to Conducted
Electrical Weapon (CEW), and supplements SOP-017, which governs use of force policies.

Recommendation: The MBPD should amend the term used to describe the Taser
from the currently used Conducted Electrical Weapon to Electronic Control Weapon
(ECW). In 2011, PERF and the U.S. Department of Justices Office of Community
Oriented Policing Services released the 2011 Electronic Control Weapons Guidelines
publication
6.
The book serves as a guideline for all agencies regarding policy, training,
use, medical considerations, reporting and accountability, and public information and
community relations. The publication specifies the change in terminology from
Conducted Energy Device and other terms to Electronic Control Weapon.

From this point forward, the report will utilize the term Electronic Control Weapon
(ECW) unless quoting portions of the departments current policy.

ECW falls under the non-lethal weapons category according to MBPD policy. It is more accurate
to refer to the ECW in this category as less-lethal rather than non-lethal.



6 http://cops.usdoj.gov/Publications/e021111339-PERF-ECWGb.pdf
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Recommendation: The MBPD should refer to the ECW in all MBPD documents and
practices, including the Supervisors Report of Control of Persons, as Less-Lethal
force rather than the currently used term Non-Lethal.

The only approved ECW devices in the MBPD are the Taser X26 and Taser X2. The ECW can
only be used under the following circumstances:

The subject is not in the immediate control of the officer but poses a threat,
The officer perceives a threat to himself, other persons, property, or self-inflicted injury,
and
An animal posing an immediate threat.

MPBD officers are prohibited from using the weapon when:

The subject is in an elevated position and could fall as a result of the use of ECW,
There are flammable materials nearby,
The subject is a pregnant female, a child under 13, or an elderly person,
The subject is in control of a motor vehicle, and
The subject is handcuffed.

Lastly, MBPD officers are prohibited from intentionally discharging the ECW at the eyes, groin,
or face of a subject, unless deadly force is authorized.

Recommendation: The MBPD should review and change General Order 13-03,
subsection 4 which states, The CEW can be utilized by deploying the probes or using the
drive stun. The policy should state Officers deploying the ECW are discouraged from
using the weapon in the drive stun mode as a pain compliance technique. The drive stun
mode should be used only to supplement the probe mode to complete the incapacitation
circuit, or as a countermeasure to gain separation between the officer and the subject so
that the officer can consider another force option.

Prior to deploying an ECW, officers are required to provide verbal warnings to the subject,
unless tactically unfeasible. Prior to deployment, officers are also required to announce Taser
to alert other officers nearby. Once the ECW is deployed, officers are to discontinue use once
compliance is achieved. Fire and rescue personnel are summoned to the scene in all cases
involving injury as a result of the deployment. Only specially trained department personnel or
medical personnel are authorized to remove the probes from the individual struck in the head,
throat, groin, or other sensitive area.

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Recommendation: The MBPD should add additional language to General Order 13-03,
subsection 4 which states that when deploying the ECW, use of the CEW shall be
discontinued once compliance is achieved. In order to provide further clarification to
this directive, it is recommended that language be inserted to the effect that Personnel
should use an ECW for one standard cycle (five seconds) and then evaluate the situation
to determine if subsequent cycles are necessary. Personnel should consider that exposure
to the ECW for longer than 15 seconds (whether due to multiple applications or
continuous cycling) may increase the risk of death or serious injury. Any subsequent
applications should be independently justifiable, and the risks should be weighed against
other force options.

Supervisors are required to respond to all ECW deployments and request the services of the
Crime Scene Section (CSS) to photograph the subject of the force. Current practices, however,
do not dictate that the ECW data must be downloaded after each use in order to gather
information about the discharge.

Recommendation: The MBPD should conduct random audits of ECW data in order to
reconcile existing use of force incidents with recorded activations. After each use of an
ECW, a download of weapon data should occur and a printout kept along with the use of
force investigation. General Order 13-03 Conducted Electrical Weapon (issued 4/25/13
and supersedes SOP-17-Use of Force), makes no mention of downloading data from each
assigned ECW (Taser), either randomly or following the use of the weapon. Such data
provides clear evidence to show whether an ECW was deployed and whether the
recommended five-second cycle was exceeded.

All ECW battery or cartridge exchanges, which occur at the departments Property and Evidence
Unit, must be accompanied by all reports, including the Supervisors Report of Control of
Persons, which documents the use of the ECW. This current practice provides an extra layer of
control and ensures that officers are not failing to report ECW discharges or malfunctions.

Recommendation: The MBPD should have supervisors conduct daily roll-call
inspections of all personnel in order to verify that all officers are carrying all required
less-lethal weapons currently available to them. It is imperative to ensure that each
officer assigned to street duty has both the Aerosol Deterrent Spray and the ECW
available as less-lethal tools for any encounter. This gives the officer several options
other than resorting to the use of a firearm

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In order to carry and deploy a ECW, officers must undergo training through a six hour course,
which includes classroom instruction, practical hands-on training that tests officers ability to fire
the ECW at a target, and scenario based situations. All officers who are authorized to carry the
ECW must retrain with the device annually. This training and yearly re-certification are in
keeping with progressive practice.

Applied Carotid Triangular Restraint

SOP 017 (Use of Force) includes the use of Applied Carotid Triangular Restraint, commonly
referred to as a choke-hold, as a type of physical control officers may resort to. The policy
stipulates, however, that prior to utilizing this technique, officers must attend an eight hour
training course which includes classroom and hands-on training. However, based on interviews
with members of the training staff, this technique is no longer taught and there are only three
members in the MBPD qualified to engage this tactic.

Recommendation: The MBPD no longer trains its officers to perform Applied Carotid
Triangular Restraint (ACTR), and does not recertify any officers; therefore the MBPD
should remove the ACTR from the use of force policy.
Use of Force Training
The sections below describe training for both firearms and the ECW.

Firearms training

MBPD officers are required to attend various training that covers use of force, at least annually.
The MBPD training unit is responsible for conducting the training as well as keeping track of all
sworn members who have received the training. Those who do not complete training are
typically relieved of performing street duty until they comply.

Currently, MBPD officers must re-qualify with all firearms a minimum of once a year. Records
are kept by the agencys firearms training unit which keeps track of all qualifications in the
department. Should a member not appear for training for any reason, a notification is sent
through the chain of command to the officers supervisor to ensure compliance with policy. Only
members in a non-full duty status or those absent for military deployments are excused from the
requirement to re-qualify. However, upon return to duty, each member must report for firearm
re-qualification.

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In addition to range qualification, the MBPD uses a training simulator that can provide scenario
based driving, firearms, and less-lethal weapons training.

MBPD policies stipulate that any officer who fails to demonstrate proficiency while attending
firearms training is offered a second chance immediately. If an officer fails during the remedial
training, he/she is offered a third attempt. If after the third attempt the officer still fails to
demonstrate proficiency, the officers immediate supervisor is notified and the officer is
temporarily assigned to a position that does not require the carrying of a firearm. At this stage,
the officer is scheduled for a 40-hour block of firearm instruction, and if the member fails this as
well, policy dictates that the officer is transferred to a non-sworn classification or recommended
for dismissal.

Recommendation: The MBPD should mandate a second yearly firearm qualification
course that is scenario based and tactically oriented. Scenario-based training will be
well received by officers and is critical to ensuring the department is reviewing the use of
force policy and preparing its officers for critical incidents including active shooter
situations, potential cross-fire situations, and use of concealment and cover.
Tactics
The Miami Beach Police Department has switched from utilizing a use of force matrix, or
continuum, to using a system of objective reasonableness, in which officers are required to gauge
the level of a subjects resistance, and respond with the appropriate level of force based on
totality of circumstances. This change is keeping with progressive practices and U.S. Supreme
Court case Graham v. Connor (490 U.S. 386), which determined that an objective
reasonableness standard should apply to law enforcement officers in use of force situations.
Some factors officers must consider while making use of force decisions are:

Seriousness of the crime committed
Size, age and weight of the subject
Apparent physical ability
Weapons present
Known history of violent behavior
Medical condition, including mental state
Number of subjects present

Additionally, officers must assess situational factors, such as:

Size, ability, and defensive tactics expertise of the officer
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Number of officers present during the encounter
Presence of innocent persons
Weapons or other restraint (less lethal) devices available to the officer
Whether the subject can be captured at a later time

Finally, officers must also assess legal requirements and department policies when deciding what
type, if any, force will be used to effect an arrest or protect bystanders.

MBPD policies and training dictate that officer response options fall into the following main
categories:

1. Physical control (non-deadly force) using empty hand controls to achieve compliance.
2. Non-lethal weapons (non-deadly force) utilizing weapons such as expandable batons,
stun guns, flashlights, chemical sprays, and the use of department K-9.
3. Deadly Force application of force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm.

Reporting and Review Process
There are two processes for handling use of force investigations: incidents involving deadly
force and those involving what MBPD currently calls non-deadly force.

Non-Deadly Force

The current process for handling use of force reviews and investigations for incidents involving
non-deadly force is as follows: An officer in the field uses force against an individual.
Departmental regulations require that the officer immediately notify a supervisor. Once the
supervisor arrives on the scene, he/she is required to interview the involved officer(s), ensure that
all witnesses, including witness officers, are accounted for and interviewed, and to ensure that
Crime Scene units respond to the incident location to take photographs and recover any
evidence. The supervisor is also required to interview the subject of the force, and fill out a
Supervisors Report of Control of Persons form. However, there is no requirement that the
Control of Persons form be filled out unless the use of force resulted in an injury to the subject,
or was likely to cause injury to the subject or cause a subject to complain of an injury. If there is
no injury no supervisory report is required.

Under current policies, supervisors are required to report use of force incidents by completing
the Supervisors Report of Control of Persons when one of the following occurs:

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1. Whenever any degree of force is utilized which results in injury to the subject, is likely to
cause an injury to the subject, or if there is a complaint of injury made by the subject.

2. Whenever a firearm is discharged in the City of Miami Beach, except in training
situations or when an unintentional discharge occurs, and there are no injuries involved.

3. Whenever an Electronic Control Weapon (ECW)

or Aerosol Deterrent Spray (ADS) is
used, except in training situations or unintentional discharges not involving injuries.

4. In cases where an impact weapon is used as a striking instrument, not including training
situations.

5. Whenever an Applied Carotid Triangular Restraint (choke hold) is utilized.

6. In all cases involving an actual or perceived injury resulting from a police canine
apprehension.
7


When supervisors are required to fill out the Control of Persons form, it must be completed prior
to the expiration of their shift. In order to track the case, supervisors request a Control of
Persons (COP) tracking number from the Public Safety Communications Unit supervisor, and
record the number on the form.

Officers reporting requirements include filling out arrest paperwork and an Offense Incident
Report (OIR)
8
in which officers are required to describe the actions taken and details of the
incident.

In each case, a supervisor higher in rank than the involved officer evaluates the use of force in
the Supervisors Summary of Findings section on the form. Upon completing the COP form, the
supervisor forwards all reports relating to the incident through the chain of command. In cases
when there is no injury, no report is required. Therefore, those in the chain of command may not
be aware of all episodes involving force. When there are COP reports, each division commander
is tasked with reviewing the report prior to sending to the chief of police. The report is ultimately
sent to the Internal Affairs unit for filing and statistical analysis. The vast majority of cases are
handled by supervisors assigned to the various units, but in some cases involving allegations of
misconduct, the Internal Affairs unit is required to complete the investigation.


7 Additional K-9 deployment information is maintained by the departments K-9 Squad.
8 MBP SOP 017, Use of Force, Revised 05/29/2009, refers to the report as Offense Incident Report. Since
publication of this SOP, the name has changed to Case Report and is filled out in the New World reporting system,
whereby the report is forwarded electronically.
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Recommendation: The MBPD should require officers to complete a Control of Persons
report form for those instances when they use force but which do not rise to the
requirement that a supervisor complete the form. The current policy, SOP 017, section
V. Reporting Use of Force Incidents, does not require a supervisor to complete the
Supervisors Report of Control of Persons form when the use of force does not result in
an injury to the subject, when it is not likely to cause an injury to the subject or when the
subject does not complain of an injury. Officers may document their use of force on their
incident report but there is no systematic way that these reports can be retrieved.
Therefore, the department does not have a complete view of the frequency and outcomes
of the use of force by officers. The annual report submitted by the Internal Affairs
commander is based on Control of Persons reports, not on all episodes where force was
used.

Deadly Force

When an officer is involved in a use of deadly force incident, he/she is responsible for
immediately notifying the Public Safety Communications Unit via radio transmission and
requesting fire and rescue and a police supervisor to respond to the scene. Additional first
responder responsibilities include administering first aid when possible, securing the crime
scene, and remaining on the scene until a supervisor arrives. When a supervisor arrives, the
officer advises the supervisor whether he/she or anyone else is injured, whether there are any
suspects still at large, and provides a description of the extent of the scene
9
.

Any contact with the involved member is limited to an attorney
10
. On-scene supervisors are
responsible for notifying the Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU) Homicide Squad, Internal
Affairs Unit and the Staff Duty Officer. Supervisors are further tasked with ensuring that the
scene is properly maintained by establishing multiple perimeters in order to control entry into the
scene as well as keeping the public and members of the media in areas that will not interfere with
proper handling of the crime scene.



9 MBP SOP 017, Section B(1)e(3) requires the involved member to provide the extent of the scene, however it is
unclear if this occurs. Based on multiple interviews, involved officers are not required to provide any information
while the case is under criminal review, under the Florida Officers Bill of Rights.
10 MBP SOP 017 stipulates that an immediate family member and a member of the clergy may also come in contact
with an involved officer at this stage. Based on multiple interviews, this rarely occurs.
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Recommendation: The MBPD needs to revise SOP 117 section IV.B.1.f, which limits
the officers contact to an attorney, an immediate family member, and/or a member of the
clergy or counselor, to include contact with a supervisor, who according to section
IV.B.2. a.4) is required to debrief the officer to ascertain if the officer, subject or any
other person is injured, if there are suspect at large, and the extent of the scene.

After use of deadly force, the involved officer is not questioned about the manner in which force
was used or about any of his/her actions that led to the application of force. The on-scene
supervisor ensures that the involved officers weapon is either secured or left where it was
dropped by the officer after the incident, and the officer and any other witnesses, including non-
involved witness officers, are separated from one another until questioned by CIU detectives.

If a deadly use of force incident occurs outside of the jurisdiction of the City of Miami Beach,
involved officers are required to immediately notify the police agency having jurisdiction,
followed by the Miami Beach communications dispatch, which in turn makes additional
notifications for MBPD command and investigative response. The Chief will determine if
MBPD will respond to incidents outside the city.

SOP 117 describes in detail the process to be used when deadly force is used when great bodily
harm or death results and in instances where an officer has caused injury or death to another
through the use of a firearm. The policy does not describe investigation requirements should an
officer use deadly force against a suspect and no injury results. The same investigat ion process
should be used regardless of an officers marksmanship. The issue is one of the officers intent,
not the outcome of the use of force.

Recommendation: The MBPD should revise SOP 017 to specify that the same reporting
and investigative process will be used whenever deadly force is used regardless of the
outcome. It was reported to PERF interviewers that the same process is used regardless
of outcome. The policy needs to be revised to mandate this.

Because officers involved in use of deadly force are not required by the department to provide
any additional statements beyond a description of the scene during the investigative process, an
internal investigation cannot continue until the case ultimately reaches a prosecutorial
conclusion. If there is no prosecution, Internal Affairs is tasked with evaluating the event from a
procedural standpoint to determine whether departmental policies were violated. Prosecutors
may take several years to yield a conclusion, which significantly hampers the ability to obtain an
accurate and timely explanation of the event during an internal investigation.
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The investigation of incidents involving the use of force occurs as follows: The initial
investigation is conducted by a supervisor one rank higher than that of the involved member.
While still on the scene of the use of force, investigating supervisors are responsible for ensuring
that the Crime Scene Section (CSS) photographs all individuals listed on the Supervisors Report
of Control of Persons form, all injured officers and citizens. Photographs must depict all injuries
by all parties, and should be taken prior to anyones departure from the scene to the extent
possible.

The shift commander must report to the scene along with members of the Criminal Investigations
Unit, who take over the investigation. In cases involving any use of a firearm by an officer, the
involved officers hands are swabbed for gunpowder residue. Additionally, the officers outer
garments are taken for further analysis. Lead detectives then consult with prosecutors from the
States Attorneys Office who are also summoned to the scene, regarding the issuance of
Miranda warnings to the involved officer(s). In all incidents involving the use of deadly force,
Internal Affairs conducts a review of the administrative aspects of the case.

All officers involved in a deadly use of force incident are relieved of duty for a minimum of 72
hours. According to MBPD policy, the leave shall not be interpreted to imply that the officer
has acted improperly.
11
Separate policies (SOP 043- Critical Incident Debriefings) govern the
mandatory psychological support for members involved in deadly force. Upon return to duty,
the officer is assigned to administrative duties for a period determined by the chief of police.

MBP policies that govern use of force include specific guidelines for training, maintenance, and
utilization for all lethal and less-lethal weapons officers must carry while on patrol. This
includes a requirement that the departments property office maintain a record of every weapon
assigned to each employee, along with a record of exchanges of weapons or any batteries or
cartridges associated with each type of weapon.
Documentation
As part of its review, PERF examined a sample of 10 use of force investigations, referred to as
Supervisors Report of Control of Persons. The reports range from 2009 to 2013, and are broken
down as follows:



11 SOP 017
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Two involved a use of a firearm,
One involved the use of ADS,
Two involved the use of ECWs, and
Five involved other methods, including open hand strikes and forcible compliance
techniques.

As previously discussed, each use of force initiated by an officer requires immediate supervisory
response to the scene. Once there, supervisors are tasked with obtaining statements from
involved officers and other witnesses, and collecting any evidence including camera data when
available. However, as described above, if there are no injuries or complaints of injuries the
supervisor is not required to file a report.

Each use of force investigative package includes a Supervisors Report of Control of Persons, an
Offense Incident Case Report Summary completed by the arresting officer, and a
Complaint/Arrest Affidavit report. While assessing the use of force, the investigating supervisor
typically fills out a narrative statement that summarizes the event and states what the findings
were, (i.e., whether the officers statements were consistent with witnesses), and whether the
subject resisted in the manner described by the responding officers. The report is then forwarded
up the chain of command where it is reviewed by each management level prior to being
forwarded to the Internal Affairs Unit.

The MBPDs supervisors Control of Persons report captures all information relating to the
event. The form is separated by main topics, and allows the supervisor to note all appropriate
information pertinent to the use of force incident, including a narrative portion in which the
supervisor summarizes the arresting officers account.

MBPDs Report of Control of Persons allows the supervisor to quickly check off the type of
force encountered by the responding officer as well as the type(s) of force utilized by the officer.

Based on PERFs review, the bulk of MBPDs use of force policies governing use of force are
clear, and based on multiple interviews with officers, supervisors and managers, are well-
understood and adhered to. As previously noted, the MBPD switched from a use of force matrix,
or continuum, to a system of objective reasonableness, in which officers are required to gauge
the level of a subjects resistance, and respond with the appropriate level of force based on
totality of circumstances. It appears that this was a positive change that is in line with current
best practices.

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The investigative process for use of force cases in the MBPD lacks several key policy
requirements. All use of force incidents, even when no injury occurs, should be formally
recorded. Policy should clearly mandate that when deadly force is used, the same complete and
thorough investigation is used regardless of harm.

Recommendation: The MBPD should create a Use of Force Review Board (UFRB) to
review all cases involving use of force, both serious and minor. Not only should cases
involving firearms, use of an ECW, apprehension involving a K-9 bite, or any other case
involving serious injuries to officers and/or arrestees be assessed, so should cases where
no injury occurs. The function and operation of the panel can be handled in a similar
way to the Internal Affairs Investigations Disposition Panels already in existence, and
governed by General Order #12-05. The Internal Affairs Unit, which currently conducts
quarterly statistical analyses of use of force cases (on average 210 cases per year) where
the Control of Persons report is used should have the ability to recommend that certain
cases that meet specific criteria be sent to the UFRB.

It is recommended that a UFRB meet at least every two months. The board should
consist of a deputy chief or major chairing the group, two captains, and the manager of
the training unit.

The purpose of the board is to analyze each use of force, discuss the merits of the case,
and identify administrative sanctions, commendations, or training needs for each case.
Specifically the board should review each case with respect to:

Compliance with MBPD policies;
Whether proper tactics were used by the officer(s);
Assessment of risk management issues for the department;
Adequacy of training; and
Whether the level of force was appropriate for the incident.

After thorough review of each case by the board, the board should recommend whether
further action is needed. If further action is needed the case should be returned to
Internal Affairs for follow-up.

The MBPD currently has over a dozen Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with neighboring
cities in order to supplement MBPD police officer presence during large-scale events. These
MOUs are governed by Florida Statute 23.1225, Mutual Aid Agreements, which lay out the
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responsibilities of the agencies entering into such agreements. The MOUs are designed to
handle both routine and emergency law enforcement assistance. Currently, it appears that
although officers from neighboring jurisdictions operate under the command and control of the
MBPD, they abide by their own policies, including those involving uses of force.
12
Furthermore,
a review of the agreements by PERF revealed that in some cases, conflicts that arise between
outside officers policies and a directive given by an MBPD supervisor are resolved in favor of
the visiting officers policies, which supersede the directive given by a MBPD supervisor.

Recommendation: The MBPD should include language in each Memorandum of
Understanding for assistance specifying that visiting officers must abide by MBPD use of
force policies. Furthermore, the MBPD should conduct recurring training sessions to
officers of outside agencies who regularly operate in the city of Miami Beach, on MBPD
use of force policies and reporting requirements. Completion of such training should be a
requirement for outside officers to work either on-duty or off duty in Miami Beach.

Department Training
The MBPD utilizes the departments Training Unit under the command of the Support Services
Division to conduct in-house training, track all training, and recommend all departmental
training including outside courses. The unit consists of one lieutenant, one sergeant, four
officers, and two civilian support personnel positions. The lieutenant reports directly to the
Support Services Division major. All Training Unit sworn staff members are certified instructors
through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
Recruit / Post Academy Training
Because MBPD hires only officers who have been certified as having successfully completed a
Florida basic recruit course, the department does not have a need to provide basic entry-level
training. Once a new officer is hired, the agency requires the officer to receive 160 hours of
MBPD-specific training, referred to as Post Academy Training. The training unit reviews and
updates its training curriculum on a regular basis, with the most recent update completed in
February 2014. After completion of post academy training, the officer is assigned to the
Operations Division for Field Training.



12 See Mutual Aid Agreement with City of Homestead, Section IV-Conflicts
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The Training Units lesson plans were reviewed by PERF. All training held by the agency is
developed according to FDLE guidelines and requirements. The Training Unit utilizes a number
of instructional methods including classroom instruction, hands on training, scenario based
exercises, and weapon simulators. The curriculum includes 30 hours of instruction and practical
experience related to the departments various weapons and use of force. All department
authorized weapons, including lethal and less lethal, are covered in the training process. In
addition, the new officers receive two hours of ethics training. There is a one hour review
regarding the departments response to individuals with mental health or drug/alcohol issues.

The departments post academy training was found to be organized, well written and
appropriately documented. Later in this report a recommendation is provided regarding the
inclusion of crisis intervention training in the post academy training process.
Field Training Program
Upon completion of the post academy training, new MBPD officers receive 14 weeks of
additional training in the Field Training Program (FTP). Program length can be reduced or
extended based on the new officers performance and the discretion of the Operations Division
lieutenant responsible for the FTP.

The FTP utilized by the MBPD is based on the traditional and commonly used San Jose Model.
It includes several phases of training with various field training officers (FTO) on varying shifts.
Each FTO completes a daily observation report and evaluates the new MBPD officers
performance. During the last two weeks of the program, the FTO simply shadows the new
officer and ensures he/she is ready to work on his/her own. Policy and procedure regarding the
FTP are covered in the agencys Standard Operating Procedure #104, Field Training Program for
Police Officers. The FTP is well defined in the agencys Field Training Program Manual. Core
Competencies include Ethics, Sensitivity to Cultural Diversity, Conflict Resolution and Use of
Force. However, the Manual dates back to 2007 and has not been revised to update the
departments approach to use of force, moving from a continuum approach to objective
reasonableness.

Recommendation: The MBPD should update the Field Training Manual to reflect the
departments switch from utilizing a use of force matrix, or continuum, to using a system
of objective reasonableness, in which officers are required to gauge the level of a
subjects resistance, and respond with the appropriate level of force based on totality of
circumstances. This change is keeping with progressive practices and the landmark U.S.
Supreme Court case Graham v. Connor (490 U.S. 386).
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Field training officers are selected by the chief of police. They are provided specific training
regarding the FTP and receive an additional $1.00 per hour while they are assigned a new
officer. The selection of FTOs for any agency is critical to the programs success. Field training
officers must be selected based on their demonstrated work knowledge and performance,
communication skills, problem solving abilities, and desire to partake in the program.

Other than the change needed to the Field Training Manual, the field training program appears to
be operating effectively.

Ongoing, effective training is essential to any professional police agency. Training provides
employees with the skills, knowledge, and abilities necessary to be successful in their positions.
Training is also rewarding to the employee, often increasing confidence, improving job success,
increasing productivity, and reducing mistakes. In law enforcement, employees are the most
important resource an agency has. Ensuring that employees are prepared and skilled to perform
their job is a critical function for law enforcement leaders.
Annual Mandatory Re-Training
The MBPDs Training Unit provides department-wide mandatory yearly training for each
officer, as required by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The police department
refers to this as Annual Mandatory Re-Training and conducts it August through October of each
year. Current FDLE mandates require that each certified police officer receive a minimum of 40
hours of training every four years. The MBPD has met this mandate by requiring its officers to
attend 10 hours of department held training each year. This is accomplished in one 10-hour day
per year.

The FDLE mandates some topics. One recent example was instruction on biased policing. All
FDLE mandated classes are provided. The remaining topics are selected by the department. The
yearly re-training process includes classroom instruction, scenario based learning, use of the
lethal/less-lethal and driving simulators, and a testing process. In addition, officers must
successfully pass the FDLE firearms qualification course.

A review of the past several years of annual mandatory re-training curriculum found the agency
was covering a wide variety of important topics including use of force, weapon re-certifications,
defensive tactics, ethics, discretion, communication skills, first aid, officer performance, and
social media. Each annual mandatory re-training listed numerous student performance
objectives that were tied to specific CALEA requirements.
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In 2012, the chief implemented a one day mandatory ethics training course for all
supervisors and managers. Several hours of training and instruction regarding ethics and
integrity were again covered in the 2013 annual mandatory re-training session.

Overall, the departments annual mandatory training concentrates on current issues and trends,
appears well designed and is implemented using a variety of teaching methods and tools.

Recommendation: The MBPD should require an additional 20 hours of annual
mandatory re-training for each officer. Although the department meets the minimum
FDLE requirement with 10 hours each year, this is a limited amount of time to cover a
variety of important topics for a modern and progressive police agency. This additional
training should include contemporary local or national law enforcement issues that will
likely have an impact on policing in Miami Beach.

Recommendation: The MBPD should include in upcoming annual mandatory re-
training sessions training specific to the topic of de-escalation and minimizing the use of
force. A July 2013 PERF publication titled Civil Rights Investigations of Local Police:
Lessons Learned
13
reveals that police use of force has been one of the primary issues
behind the U.S. Department of Justices investigations of local police departments for
civil rights violations. One of the key aspects identified by DOJ in each mandate is the
use of de-escalation techniques. De-escalation techniques involve the ability of the
officer to reduce or eliminate force as resistance decreases or stops. De-escalation can
also include the use of verbal skills to bring a peaceful conclusion to a potentially
confrontational event. This can be critical when dealing with subjects exhibiting erratic
or dangerous behavior due to mental illness, medical impairments, or the influence of
alcohol or drugs.
Specialized Training
Officers in the MBPD have the opportunity to attend both department hosted specialized training
courses as well as courses sponsored and held by other law enforcement agencies or training


13 Critical Issues in Policing Series, Civil Rights Investigations of Local Police: Lessons Learned. Police Executive
Research Forum, July 2013. http://policeforum.org/library/critical-issues-in-policing-
series/CivilRightsInvestigationsofLocalPolice.pdf

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organizations. Over the course of the last three years, MBPD has hosted several courses on
topics including domestic violence, courtroom testimony, officer survival, sexual deviance, and
anti-terrorism for first responders. Since the fall of 2013, the department has begun offering
an International Association of Chiefs of Police sponsored course on Leadership in Police
Organizations. The course will be available and provided to all officers no matter their
rank. Officers can seek additional training outside of the agency as it becomes available.

Recommendation: The MBPD should consider training all officers to deal with civil
disturbances with large crowds by providing Mobile Field Force training. The
department currently has a contingent of bicycle officers trained in the rapid response to
crowd related issues using the bicycle as a crowd control tool. In addition, there is a
regional civil disturbance team that has six MBPD officers assigned that can be activated
upon request. But in Miami Beach, large crowds are a common occurrence and problems
can arise quickly, leaving little time for response and regional assistance. Conducting
Mobile Field Force training for all officers on civil disturbance response, techniques,
and handling large crowds would be an asset to the agency. Conducting a yearly review
of this response should be included in the departments annual mandatory re-training.
First-Line Supervisor Training
Effective first-line supervisors are critical to the professionalism, discipline, and success of a
police agency. In the MBPD, the first-line supervisor is a sergeant. They are responsible for the
day-to-day supervision of their officers and ensuring that the mission of the agency is
accomplished. Preparing and training new sergeants for their new role is vital for their success.
Transitioning to sergeant is a difficult process for most officers. Training for new supervisors
must be job-related and focus on the specific role they play in the MBPD. It could include case
studies of past MBPD misconduct. It should focus on specific responsibilities they have and
how to hold their officers accountable. New sergeants must understand the new role they have
accepted and the responsibilities placed upon them.

Interviews with department staff indicated some inconsistency in training newly promoted
sergeants. Some interviewees indicated it had taken several years for a new sergeant to attend a
basic school for supervision. This is often due to the lack of availability. Although the process
to obtain training for newly promoted sergeants appears to have improved significantly over the
last two years, the agency must still rely on training provided by other police agencies or training
organizations.

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There are no state requirements for sergeant/first line supervisory training. The Florida
Department of Law Enforcement does offer the Florida Leadership Academy composed of four
one-week sessions over a four month period several times a year across the state.

Recommendation: The MBPD should provide basic first-line supervisor training to new
sergeants immediately following promotion by developing an in-house course. The
course can be created using computer based instruction, required readings, and
discussions with veteran sergeants and managers. By using adult based learning
principles, the absence of a readily available traditional training course can be countered.
The instruction must cover a variety of skills including basic responsibilities, department
expectations, communication skills, performance evaluations, and handling critical
incidents including use of force, ECW deployments, and responding to mentally ill
subjects. Skills in maximizing procedural justice and de-escalation should be included.
As openings become available for additional first-line supervisor training outside of the
agency, the sergeants should be given the training in order to further their understanding
of the position and its role and responsibilities. The department should continue its
current practice of assigning a more experienced sergeant to the newly promoted
sergeants for mentoring and assistance.
Command
As part of an organizations planning process, it must ensure the success of the police agency
through mentoring and training current and future department leaders. Successful succession
planning for an agency does not require enormous funding, but it does require the commitment to
identify potential leaders, develop their skills through proper training, education and mentoring,
and assign them to challenging positions that will prepare them for the future.

Interviews with department staff indicate that although the agency has no formalized training for
lieutenants and above, they do seek leadership and management instruction from local and state
agency sponsored courses. In addition, the department does send commanders as funding or
opportunities become available.

Recommendation: The department should institute a formal leadership development
program to prepare future leaders. Components should include requirements for formal
education, locally available leadership courses, and completion of at least one nationally
recognized course such as the FBIs Executive Institute, PERFs Senior Management
Institute for Police, Northwestern Universitys School of Police Staff and Command, or
the Southern Police Institutes Administrative Officers Course.
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Accountability Systems
Law enforcement agencies are entrusted with an enormous amount of authority and power
designed to enable them to control crime, maintain the peace and good order of a community,
protect people and property, maintain the smooth and efficient flow of traffic, and a host of other
responsibilities. An agencys authority, which is derived from the people served, permits
intervention where necessary to accomplish the police mission and may require an officer to
deprive a citizen of his or her property and/or freedom. Officers necessarily carry with them the
authority to use force, up to and including the use of deadly force, to perform their duty. This
degree of power and authority is unique to law enforcement agencies, and therefore requires an
immense amount of accountability from both the law enforcement agencies collectively, and
police officers individually.

As Samuel Walker, a recognized expert on police accountability wrote in his 2005 book The
New World of Police Accountability, On one level [police accountability] refers to holding law
enforcement agencies accountable for the basic services they deliver; order maintenance, and
miscellaneous services to people and communities. At the same time, however, it also refers to
holding individual officers accountable for how they treat individual citizens, particularly with
regard to the use of force, equal treatment of all groups, and respect for the dignity of
individuals. In certain important aspects, of course, the agency-level and officer-level
dimensions of accountability merge.
Internal Affairs
A review of the Miami Beach Police Departments (MBPD) Internal Affairs (IA) process
revealed the current system is consistent with recommended best practices and administered in a
fair and equitable manner. The process in place is driven by department rules, regulations,
general orders and policy, all of which are designed to elicit and recreate a true and factual
representation of the incident in question. There is some room for improvement in the MBPD
system, although the deficiencies noted are not fatal systemic flaws. Recommendations are
designed to strengthen an already efficient and effective process.

PERFs review included an analysis of all aspects of the IA system including, but not limited to,
selection and training of personnel assigned to the IA unit; a collective interview of current and
past members assigned to IA; review of department rules, regulations, general orders and
policies directly related to the IA function; review of a random selection of completed IA cases,
including audio recordings of witness and subject officer interviews; review of written reports
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completed by IA personnel; review of findings by agency personnel assigned to disposition
panels; and a comparative analysis of recommended best practices in the IA processes.

Selection of Personnel and General Function of Internal Affairs

MBPDs IA unit has had an evolving organizational design. In 2011, the City of Miami Beach
mandated that the IA commander be selected from outside the agency. The theory behind this
decision was to reduce the amount of familiarity (real or imagined) between the commander and
agency personnel who would be subjected to future IA investigations. Since MBPD is a small-
to medium-sized agency, the assumption was that most officers knew and were likely friends
with each other. The premise was that MBPD had a limited capacity to conduct fair and
objective investigations due to that familiarity. To address that perceived deficiency, the chief
recruited a veteran commander with the Miami Police Department to head the IA unit; he had
done so until he was recently promoted to the position of Deputy Chief of MBPD.

Although recruitment of a seasoned commander from outside the department is certainly an
acceptable prerogative of the city to try to ensure objectivity in the IA process, it can have
limited impact. Changes have occurred so that now the IA Unit is composed of a captain, seven
sergeants and two officers detached to the State Attorneys Public Corruption Task Force. There
is also a deputy commanders position funded, but it was vacant at the time of this report.

The departments rules, regulations, policies and procedures do not mandate that members of the
IA unit withdraw themselves from any investigation which may present a conflict of interest due
to friendship, family ties, past working relationships, or past conflicts between the investigator
and subject officer and/or the complainant. This type of mandated prohibition has been
recognized as a best practice by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and has been
included in a number of consent decrees during the past decade.

The IA unit is directed to investigate all allegations of misconduct by department personnel
emanating from both internal and external sources. The Chief of Police may also assign the unit
to conduct special investigations. MBPD assigns personnel to the unit based on their reputations
within the agency and the community, their past performance, their experience as both
supervisors and investigators, their willingness to serve in the IA capacity (i.e., members are
selected on a volunteer basis only), and their objectivity as it relates to a sense of fairness and
equity. The final decision regarding assignment of personnel to IA rests with the Chief of Police.

These are acceptable and well-recognized criteria for selection of personnel to be assigned to the
IA Unit. Assignment to an IA unit requires a high level of commitment and a fundamental
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understanding of the concepts which apply to an effective internal investigations process (i.e.,
level of proof to determine culpability in a misconduct allegation, familiarity with relevant case
law, and the administrative investigation process). Therefore, proper training in the overall
concept of these duties and responsibilities is critical for all personnel assigned to an IA unit.

After selection for assignment to the MBPD IA unit, all members receive training in the internal
affairs process. MBPD IA unit officers receive their training at either a regional program, which
the current IA members believe provides the most consistency with Southeast Florida protocols,
or at a nationally recognized training program such as the Institute for Police Technology and
Management (IPTM) in northern Florida. After completion, other experienced
sergeant/investigators mentor newly assigned members. Currently the IA commander, an MBPD
captain, regulates and supervisors these sergeant/investigators as their immediate supervisor. The
IA commander reports directly to the chief of police and not through the deputy chief or any of
the majors.

Recommendation: The MBPD should fill the Internal Affairs deputy commander
position with a lieutenant. This will allow for multiple layers of review of Internal
Affairs investigators work product.

Redundant review helps to assure consistency, thoroughness, and completeness in the
investigatory and reporting processes. This process of redundant review should include both a
review of the written report and a total review of the recorded interviews conducted during the
investigatory process. Listening to recorded interviews helps to ensure an accurate reflection of
the interview is contained in IAs final written report. Additionally, each level of the IA unit
should review all evidence including, but not limited to, photographs, video recordings, physical
evidence, and subsequent reports, (i.e. toxicology or coroner reports) during the investigative and
review processes. Though these tasks are expected to be completed in conjunction with all IA
investigations, the MBPD has not reduced these requirements to writing in any general order,
policy, procedure, handbook, or any other directive.

Recommendation: The MBPD should add a requirement to its standard operating
procedure for the Internal Affairs function that members of the IA unit bring any conflict
of interest that is related to a current investigation to the attention of their immediate
supervisor and/or commanding officer and withdraw from such investigations. This
action will help to support the City of Miami Beachs efforts to ensure objectivity,
fairness, and equity in the MBPD IA function.

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Recommendation: The MBPD should assemble a comprehensive policy and procedure
manual that includes specific directives which address the various issues necessary to
complete a fair and unbiased IA investigation, e.g. locating and interviewing witnesses,
prohibiting leading or hostile questions, judging witness credibility, probing
inconsistencies in witness/officer statements, obtaining medical records, and other
investigative tasks.

The Citizen Complaint Process

The MBPD accepts citizen complaints from any source and assigns them for investigation
through a process coordinated by the IA unit. Its general orders provide specific direction to all
members of the agency for the appropriate protocols to accept citizen complaints, record them,
notify a supervisor, conduct preliminary investigation where necessary, and submit complaints
through the departmental process. The directives also delineate the organizational responsibility,
classification of complaints, and required action by appropriate units within the MBPD.

The MBPD has printed forms available at all police installations and other strategic locations in
government buildings where a member of the public may submit either a complaint or
compliment regarding the actions of any member of the MBPD. The public may also file a
complaint or commendation via the departments website. Such availability is designed to
promote confidence in the IA process and to ensure ease of access. This process is consistent
with recommended best practices. In fact, the Department of Justice recommends that police
departments provide a readily accessible process in which community and agency members can
have confidence in an effective citizen complaint procedure The operating principles of an
effective citizen procedure are openness, integrity, and accountability. Openness means that the
process makes an effort to inform citizens about the complaint process and to receive all citizen
complaints, no matter how frivolous some might seem.
14


The U.S. Department o Justice strongly encourages police agencies to make
complaint/compliment forms available in all languages used within an agencys specific
jurisdiction. Although this is a well-taken recommendation, it may be challenging for the MBPD
to conform with it completely, as the City of Miami Beach is an international destination where
many languages are spoken. The DOJ also encourages and mandates in some consent decrees
that police agencies actually take steps to publicize their citizen complaint process. Some
agencies have incorporated this mandate through the use of public service announcements in


14 The New World of Police Accountability, Samuel Walker, 2005
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conjunction with local media outlets or by employing citizen complaint hotlines, (i.e., 800
numbers), to simplify the process of submitting and accepting concerns about police operations
from citizens.

Recommendation: The City of Miami Beach should identify the primary languages
spoken within its jurisdiction by both residents and visitors so the MBPD can incorporate
them into the publication of their current complaint/compliment forms.

Recommendation: The Miami Beach Police Department should periodically publicize
its citizen complaint process and reiterate the access points for filing complaints against
or compliments in support of police officers. Currently complaints can be made via the
departments web site but other venues can include community centers, chamber of
commerce offices, libraries, home offices of local advocacy groups, and other centers for
public gatherings.

Disposition Separate from Investigation

Personnel assigned to the IA function in Miami Beach only act as fact finders. That is, the IA
process is designed to investigate allegations of police misconduct and complete a report that
establishes the most accurate factual rendering possible of the incident based on recorded
statements and physical evidence. However, the IA investigators do not render an opinion or
recommendation for finding at the conclusion of their investigation. Rather, that function is the
responsibility of a disposition panel. The disposition panel is charged with determining whether
allegations of police misconduct shall be: Substantiated, Unsubstantiated, Unfounded or
Exonerated (MBPD GO #12-05, pg 1).

The practice of deferring to a disposition panel the responsibility for determining the final,
recommended conclusion of a complaint investigation was initiated approximately two years
ago. Separating the two helps to ensure that the investigation is thorough and not cut short by a
premature determination that the complaint will not be sustained.
15
The philosophy behind this
transition was to relieve IA sergeant/investigators of the responsibility and pressure of making a
command level decision, which is especially important if the subject of the complaint was an
officer superior in rank to their own. Additionally, MBPDs process change was designed to
increase the objectivity of an investigation by requiring the IA team to provide an independent


15 The New World of Police Accountability, Samuel Walker, 2005

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panel of senior command staff members with an objective, complete, and thorough investigative
report. As now designed, the IA unit has become a more palatable assignment for sergeants.
The enhanced attractiveness of IA as a desirable assignment is directly based on an increased
perception of fairness in the process.

Many departments use an internal affairs process in which the IA investigators recommend the
outcome of the investigation sustained, not sustained, exonerated or unfounded. This approach
is based on their experience as trained investigators capable of determining the outcome of an
investigation, much like a major crimes detective determines whether the evidence in a case
merits it being forwarded to prosecution. In some departments this procedure is intended to
prevent a re-investigation of the case to support an outcome favored by someone in the officers
chain of command. A re-investigation can stretch the time frame of the case to many months.

In Miami Beach, the chain of command of the officer who is the subject of the investigation is
not involved in the case review and outcome determination. Therefore, re-investigation does not
occur. The chief of police, with the support of agency members and the union, believed all
interested parties were better served if such decisions were left to the collective wisdom of senior
command staff members with considerable experience in examining allegations of misconduct
and resolving complaints. While the goal is consensus, majority vote of these command
personnel determines the final recommendation should there be dissent in the final determination
of any particular allegation.

The chief of police is the final decision-maker about each complaint lodged against MBPD
members. This recently adopted process allows the chief to rely on the combined wisdom and
experience of his most senior command staff members for recommended case closures.
However, final disposition of each allegation remains the responsibility of the chief of police and
cannot be deferred to the disposition panel or any other entity.

This transition of authority in the process has the support in the MBPD of all stakeholders,
and as implemented in the MBPD context, it should be continued.

In addition to findings directly related to a complaint filed against the agency or its members,
there are occasions where unrelated violations of policy or procedure occur and come to the
attention of an agency via the complaint investigation process. These additional acts of
misconduct are referred to as collateral misconduct or misconduct outside the four corners of
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the formal complaint
16
. There are divergent opinions about whether an agency should pursue
these otherwise undetected violations. Some agencies believe it is absolutely necessary to
address the violations, while others choose to ignore them as they were not part of the original
complaint. Progressive agencies that are serious about enhanced accountability absolutely
mandate that all violations be investigated and resolved via the IA process. The MBPD, to its
credit, mandates the investigation and closure of collateral misconduct under all circumstances.
Such practices helps to serve notice to all affected by the IA process that the agency is
profoundly interested in the integrity of the agency and its members.

Recommendation: The MBPD should add to the section of their standard operating
procedure which pertains to IA investigations, language requiring and specifically
directing the investigation of all incidents of collateral misconduct. Such investigations
should be identified as Collateral Misconduct Investigations and be subject to the same
closures as primary misconduct investigations. They should be reported as a separate
category of internal investigations.
Early Intervention Systems
The MBPD has implemented an early intervention system (EIS) using the IAPro software
system. This system is used by many law enforcement agencies across the United States and is
generally accepted as a highly effective product. There has been debate regarding the title for
such a system; some preferring Early Warning System (EWS), while others believing that Early
Intervention System (EIS) is a more suitable identifier. The term Early Warning System tends to
denote the efforts are primarily based in discipline and sometimes evokes a negative connotation.
In either case, the USDOJ has identified use of such a system as a best practice in American
Policing. In 2001 the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA)
adopted a new standard requiring all large agencies to have an EI system. Standard 35.1.15
reads:

A comprehensive Personnel Early Warning System is an essential component of good discipline
in a well-managed law enforcement agency. The early identification of potential problem
employees and a menu of remedial actions can increase agency accountability and offer
employees a better opportunity to meet the agencys values and mission statement.

It is important to note that the MBPD has been accredited by CALEA.


16 The New World of Police Accountability, Second Edition, Samuel Walker and Carol Archbold, 2014
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EI Systems are the centerpiece or linchpin of the new police accountability because they pull
together other key elements of a departments accountability process, including primarily use of
force reports and citizen complaint data A centralized database on officer performance
allows commanders to identify those officers whose performance records raise concerns. These
officers are then referred to some kind of intervention, typically counseling or retraining,
designed to improve their performance.
17
These systems depend on data analysis derived from
a number of performance indicators. One could easily compare an EI system to a Compstat
system as the theories behind both are similar. Both systems seek to define an appropriate
operational strategy to address a readily identifiable issue or problem.

The systems are designed to examine previously determined data points in an effort to identify
whether an officers performance is somewhat askew from other officers with whom he or she is
working. This is accomplished by setting thresholds which bring specific conduct to the
attention of the examiner, and then setting a process in motion to determine an effective course
of action (i.e., counseling, training, intense supervision, etc.). Rather than discipline, these
systems are designed to help improve officer performance by way of an informal approach where
possible. They can also set the stage for more formal activity where necessary. Ironically,
although these systems were originally designed to identify problem officers or bad apples,
many agencies have discovered that the systems are equally proficient at identifying outstanding
employees as well as average employees. Using these systems successfully requires an intense
amount of committed effort by all members of an agencys command staff. Sharing data about
individual officers is at the core of a systems potential for being a beneficial management tool.
An effective EI system has the potential to hold individual officers accountable, transform the
role and effectiveness of supervisors, and ultimately, may have a positive effect on changing the
culture of an agency.

According to Walker
18
, [t]he relationship of an EI system to organizational change is twofold.
First, the development of an EI system itself represents an important change: a concerted effort
to monitor officer performance. Second the long-term impact of an EI system has the
potential for changing standards of accountability and ultimately the organizational culture of a
police department.



17 The New World of Police Accountability, Samuel Walker, 2005, p.102
18 The New World of Police Accountability, Samuel Walker, 2005, p.103

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MBPD implemented IAPro as its EI system within the past two years and has recently
implemented a second phase of the product known as Blue Team. This second phase is
designed to assist the agency in better examining the performance of its employees. The MBPD
has charged the IA unit with coordinating all aspects of the IAPro system. All information in the
system is maintained at the IA units main office and is accessible only to authorized members of
the IA unit. No data is shared with any other member of the agency in its current format. While
this is optimal for security, this process is counterproductive to the design of an effective EI
system. Rather, information entered into the system should be analyzed and made readily
available to any employees chain of command. Obviously, the level of access to an employees
data should be commensurate with the level of supervisory or command authority of the person
receiving the information. Higher levels in the chain of command should receive greater access
to data about officers under their command.

Recommendation: The MBPD should use the full functionality of the IAPro system
incorporating all aspects of an effective Early Intervention System (EIS) including a data
sharing principle that would allow access by appropriate supervisors and command
personnel. Appropriate training should be provided to all supervisory/command personnel
in the agency to familiarize each with the IAPro system, its potential benefit when used
correctly, and to ensure effective implementation of the agencys EI system.

MBPD currently uses in its EI system a data point analysis based on thresholds established for all
officers across the city. The behavior of an officer working midnight shift on weekends in South
Beach, who is likely to have many more negative public contacts, is compared to the behavior of
an officer working in the northern part of the city during weekdays who is likely to have fewer
but more positive public contacts. In jurisdictions where the nature of the city requires a distinct
difference in enforcement needs, agencies create peer comparison groups based on officers
assignments. Peer thresholds are established for those officers who regularly work nighttime in
active, more dangerous and challenging areas. A different set of thresholds is established for
officers who regularly work weekday day shifts in quiet, predominately residential areas.

Agencies that use different thresholds depending on assignment often believe that officers in
some neighborhoods, based in part on the sheer volume of contacts and the nature of a
neighborhoods higher crime, will need to resort to the use of force more frequently and will be
the subject of more citizen complaints because of the volume of arrests they make. In fact, some
have suggested that arrestees make complaints against the arresting officer as a bargaining chip
to trade for reduced charges and possible leniency. However, an argument can be made that a
department that has heavily invested in training its officers in procedural justice and de-
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escalation techniques should not have different thresholds depending on officer assignment. In
its most sophisticated application, EI thresholds can be used to identify top performing officers
regardless of their assignment.

Recommendation: The MBPD should examine the extent to which there are differences
in officer behavior depending on assignment, as measured by triggering the Early
Intervention thresholds. Are officers as a group regularly assigned to the more active or
risky beats and shifts in South Beach more likely to exhibit behaviors that approach or
exceed the EI triggers than officers working the more placid beats and shifts in other parts
of the city? If such comparisons show significant differences, the department should, at
least temporarily, implement a peer based comparison procedures as part of the EI system.
Officer performance should be assessed against that of their group of peers who work in
similar circumstances. However, if disparities are discovered based on work assignments,
the department should put greater emphasis on training its officers in procedural justice
and de-escalation techniques with the eventual expectation that a single set of thresholds
would apply to all officers.

External Oversight

Currently, the city of Miami Beach does not employ any form of external oversight of the MBPD
and its IA process. Moreover, the MBPD does not conduct an internal audit of the IA process,
thus missing an opportunity to conduct an inspection of one of the agencys most critical
functions. Nationally there is much debate regarding the effectiveness of external oversight.
Such a check and balance system has been demanded by civil rights groups since the 1960s.

As cited in an October 2003 Police Chief
19
article, On one side of the debate, there are those
who assert that internal review and control is the only way to manage the problem of
misconduct. Basically, they argue that the involvement of citizens without intimate knowledge
of law enforcement procedures and legal limitations will only muddle the review process. The
other side of the debate revolves around the enormous amount of power and authority possessed
by police agencies, arguing that this unique power and its associated discretion make it
imperative that members of the public have a means of redress if officers abuse their powers and
seek protection from scrutiny behind the blue wall of silence.


19
http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=111&issue_id=1020
03
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Civilian review panels such as the Office of Municipal Investigations (OMI) in Pittsburgh and
the Citizens Complaint Authority (CCA) in Cincinnati are two forms of external oversight
evolving from agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice. This form of external review is
composed of a group of citizens authorized to conduct investigations of serious misconduct
alleged to have been committed by the jurisdictions police officers.

Another example of oversight is the independent police auditor, who is usually an employee of
the city/county. This position has the potential to be a broader and more effective form of
external oversight in a police agency. Walker
20
has argued, [t]he crucial aspect of the police
auditor concept is its focus on organizational change. This distinguishes it from civilian review
boards, which investigate individual complaints. Instead of focusing narrowly on the culpability
of officers in particular misconduct incidents, police auditors focus on organizational problems
that underlie such incidents.

In addition to the previously identified oversight processes, the use of an ombudsman or other
highly respected professional (i.e. retired judge or prosecutor) can be an effective tool to review
an agencys internal investigations and ensure accuracy and transparency in the process.
Depending on the number of cases handled by the agency, the process could be done quarterly,
biannually, or annually.

Recommendation: The MBPD should adopt an annual external police oversight
mechanism such as an independent auditor, ombudsman, retired judge or prosecutor or
other hybrid component to conduct a review of all internal affairs investigations. The
U.S. Department of Justice has routinely mandated the creation of an external oversight
component in consent decrees and memoranda of agreements during the past 15 years.
Such documents serve as excellent references for the considerations involved in
establishing an oversight mechanism.

Technology

The MBPD IA unit generates a considerable number of reports, associated documents, videos,
images, pictures, DVDs and other evidentiary material. IA staff reduces all of this information
into written reports. The other documents, pictures, evidence, etc. are collected and preserved in
traditional physical fashion. These reports and the associated evidence have a mandated
retention period, and therefore the final work product must be preserved and stored in a protected


20 The New World of Police Accountability, Samuel Walker, 2005, p.135
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environment. The storage is currently accomplished by maintaining these items in a locked
storage facility at the IA main office. There are no copies of the files and their storage is limited
to the protection provided by the current facility, a converted library building that was
constructed during the 1950s. Obviously fire and water contamination in a city in a hurricane-
prone section of the country are two threats to the preservation of these records as mandated by
law. Older records are stored off-site elsewhere in Miami-Dade County.

Current technology provides more efficient methods for creating the required documents and
storing them in electronic systems that provide redundant backup of the files in a secure
environment. Such systems usually comply with state retention laws.

Another issue of technology arises from the frustrations expressed by the MBPD IA unit
personnel about the inability to resolve some complaints that are one-on-one or commonly
referred to as he said-she said, or accusation-denial complaints. These complaints typically
evolve from a negative contact between a citizen and a police officer where no other evidence
exists, except for the statement of the complaining citizen and the officers version of what
occurred during the incident. These types of complaints are nearly always closed as not
sustained as there is no way to determine who is more credible. These investigations can leave
a member of the public with an extreme sense of frustration and the feeling that the police
department is covering up an officers wrongdoing. Conversely, officers who are the target of
false accusations will often be frustrated that they cannot exonerate themselves. This type of
frustration often leads to poor morale and a reduction in desire to perform at acceptable levels.
Until recently, there was little, if anything, police agencies could do to address these situations.

During PERFs review of the IA unit and process, PERF staff asked whether the IA members
believed incorporation of on-body recording systems (body cams) could be an effective tool in
helping to resolve complaints against police officers. All members of the IA unit enthusiastically
expressed their support for such technology and believed it could greatly enhance the IA process
in the MBPD.

Furthermore, the IA staff was deeply interested in transitioning to cloud-based record
management systems as a means of maintaining department records in a much more secure
environment. Our examination of the IA units facility included inspection of a number of
extremely large case files. All of that material, if created and stored in digital form, would easily
be available to the unit on a tablet or laptop. Transition to such a system would also help to
increase useable office space that is currently used for storage of these same department records
in the form of storage boxes, and filing cabinets.
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This type of technology would also afford the department an opportunity to improve its ability to
identify, collect and preserve evidence at crime scenes, traffic accidents and any other type of
officer/citizen contact. Furthermore, on-body recording systems provide an enhanced
opportunity for improved training based on real-life experiences; more effective supervision
based on real-time review of officer performance; and an obvious commitment to improving the
overall effectiveness and efficiency of the agency by employing state-of-the-art technology
designed to improve performance at all levels.

Recommendation: The MBPD should implement a records management system,
designed specifically for the IA function, that incorporates cloud-based technology to
provide redundant backup systems in a secure environment. This system would permit
personnel to utilize electronic tablets for note-taking, recording statements, data sharing,
photographs, video production, and other functions during the investigative process, thus
improving effectiveness and efficiency. Such a transition would also permit the office to
be freed of clutter resulting from storage of closed case files maintained in compliance
with records retention laws.

Recommendation: The MBPD should strongly consider implementing the use of officer
body worn cameras. Technology in this field has improved significantly over the past
five years and adoption of this equipment is widely seen as the wave of the future in
policing. When used properly, these systems provide real-time audio and visual
recordings of all incidents where an officer has invoked his or her authority as a public
official. These recordings can greatly assist an agency in resolving complaints;
identifying, collecting, and preserving evidence; enhancing training; and improving front-
line supervision. Cloud-based, digital evidence management systems for the video
evidence are also available which assist the agency in maintaining the integrity of its
investigations. The U.S. Department of Justices Community Oriented Policing Services
and the Police Executive Research Forum will soon be releasing policy and practice
recommendations regarding the use of body worn cameras.
Off-Duty and Secondary Employment
Off-duty and Secondary Employment details, as they are often called, have been a matter of
debate in American policing for decades. Broadly, off-duty and secondary employment is the
hiring of off-duty police officers by private entities to assist the private entity in assuring the
safety of both people and property, at a designated location within a prescribed timeframe, all of
which is owned or under the control of the entity hiring the off-duty officer(s). Other varieties of
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off-duty details exist and range from a simple traffic post at a construction site to dozens of
police officers hired to maintain security at an international art show, a rock concert, or a
professional sporting event. Many of the clubs in South Beach employ off-duty police officers to
enhance security. Any number of issues can arise during the conduct of such details. The
majority of these issues are similar to the same issues with which a police department is
challenged on a daily basis.

The most serious of these issues involve secondary employment where a conflict of interest is
present and a police department has approved the detail. Officers who work agency-approved,
secondary employment are a legal extension of the approving police department, carry the same
power and authority as on-duty police officers, are acting within the scope of their authority as
sworn, certified police officers, are working as agents of the police department, and are directly
accountable to the agency, as well as the community, for the performance of their duty while
actively engaged in off-duty paid details. Because the agency has approved the secondary
employment, the agency and its home jurisdiction (the City of Miami Beach in this case) have
assumed the liability for the officers performance and may incur worker compensation costs for
any injuries and/or disability suffered by officers working off-duty details. The city may also be
exposed to legal liability for any challenged officer behavior while he/she is employed on the
detail. It is therefore critically important for the city government and police administration
to ensure adequate control over members of the department who choose to engage in
secondary employment. Off-duty employment can be a source of a pattern and practice of
officer misconduct.

Off-Duty and Secondary Employment System

Off-duty and secondary employment poses a number of benefits and challenges to a city and its
police department. One advantage of such a system is markedly increased uniformed patrol
force, at little or no cost to the city. Disadvantages range from simple complaints of discourtesy
to corruption or other criminal misconduct on the part of officers engaged in working off-duty
paid details.

In the city of Miami Beach, recent statistics gathered from the Secondary Employment Unit
indicate that MBPD officers work as many as 85,000 hours of secondary employment per year
within the city limits. This is the equivalent of having nearly 41 additional full-time police
officers in uniform and working at a variety of locations throughout the city. More importantly,
these off-duty details generally occur in areas of the city which are subject to an increase in
activity which may affect the safety and well-being of people in that vicinity. Private entities
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pay for this additional complement of officers; and they still fall under the direct authority of the
MBPD. As such, the officers serve as a supplemental force that is readily available to the city at
a moments notice. This is a benefit to all stakeholders that is both attractive and impossible to
deny although it does present some concerns.

Miami Beach, like other cities across America, can experience the downside of permitting
officers to work off-duty paid details. Among other things, officers can develop a sense of
allegiance to a secondary employer and choose to ignore their sworn duty in order to protect a
source of steady, supplemental income. If a city chooses to offer off-duty employment of
officers, it must enact the appropriate policies, procedures, training, supervision, and inspection
of such a system.

Recently the New Orleans Police Department had been plagued with so many instances of
officer misconduct that the USDOJ found it necessary to included secondary employment as a
key portion of the consent decree between the city and the federal government to address
inappropriate and illegal conduct by members of that agency. This action was initiated to ensure,
that officers and other NOPD employees off-duty secondary employment does not
compromise or interfere with the integrity and effectiveness of NOPD employees primary work
as sworn police officers serving the entire New Orleans community (US v New Orleans 2012).

The New Orleans consent decree document can serve as an example for the MBPD. MBPD has
already put in place many safeguards for an excellent off-duty and secondary employment
system. Continued improvements should be examined to enhance the effectiveness and
efficiency of the MBPD and to further protect the integrity of city government.

As an example, the New Orleans consent decree identified six components necessary to be
included in an effective secondary employment system:

Secondary Employment Coordinating Office
Coordinating Office Responsibilities
Secondary Employment Compensation
Limitations on Secondary Employment Work
Secondary Employment Employee Responsibilities
Secondary Employment Supervision
Each of these sections contained a number of tasks that must be designed and implemented to
satisfy the consent decree. Many of these tasks have already been implemented by the MBPD in
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its existing system. However, the MBPD can adopt additional elements described above to
further improve its system.

Secondary Employment Coordinating Office

The MBPD has established an Off -Duty Office with the authority to arrange, coordinate, and
perform administrative functions of the MBPD secondary employment system. A sergeant
currently commands that office and reports via a lieutenant to the major of the Support Services
Division and has a minimum staff at his disposal.
21
The office operates in accordance within
departmental policies and procedures governing secondary employment. The coordinating office
is located within and operates as a direct function of the MBPD.

In the example of the consent decree with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), the
USDOJ recommended that the Coordinating Office be directed by a civilian director with no
actual conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest (US v New Orleans 2012; 85).
The director may not be a present or former police department employee, must serve in an
unclassified position at the pleasure of the Mayor and must be independent from actual or
perceived influence of the police department.

In this example, the director and all other coordinating office employees salary cannot be
associated with the number of off-duty details worked by officers and/or the amount of money
generated by the secondary employment system, ensuring that there is no financial incentive to
those employees other than their salaries. Furthermore, the coordinating office may only be
staffed with non-sworn employees who have no conflict of interest or the appearance of a
conflict and may not have been police department employees within the past two years.

Recommendation: The city should revamp its Off-Duty Employment Office and
establish it as a coordination office that is free of influence and/or control of the police
department. In addition, the city should consider creating a director position to act in an
autonomous fashion although still governed by a highly structured set of rules and
regulations specifically designed to enhance and maintain the integrity of the department
and city government. The director would evaluate and coordinate off-duty details with an
executive level MBPD staff member to ensure adequate controls and staffing are in place.
Where concerns over the secondary employment system exist, these safeguards can serve


21
While not a systemic defect, the current sergeant in charge of the office is married to the commander of the
Internal Affairs unit, the very entity that would be tasked to investigate any allegation of a problem with an officer
on detail assignment.
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as a major step in establishing control over the liability associated with off-duty paid
details.

Off-Duty Employment Office Responsibilities

If established separate from the MBPD, the Off-Duty Employment Office would maintain a
searchable list of off-duty details, accessible to the departments employees, along with a roster
of employees interested in working secondary employment. The establishment of a fair and
equitable rotation policy for details is essential. The rotation policy may establish consideration
such as seniority and area of on duty assignment versus area of detail work. The rotation policy
can provide exceptions for a limited number of details and leave some discretion to the
coordinating office where work may require specialized skills and/or specific training.

The MBPD policy (SOP 011) requires the Off-Duty Employment Team creating and
maintaining documentation for each off-duty detail as well as for each employee who works in
an off-duty capacity. (SOP 011, p1.) However, assigning officers to work details in Miami
Beach depends on the type of detail temporary, permanent off-duty or special events.
Temporary details are short term and non-repetitive. They are filled from a list of off-
duty available officers maintained for four weeks. They are staffed in the following
sequence (SOP 011, p.3):
1. Employees on the list that do not have a permanent off-duty detail, by Department
seniority;
2. Employees on the list that have not worked a temporary off-duty detail that
current week, by Department seniority;
3. Any available employee ;
Permanent Off-Duty details are repetitive, involving the same employer. The first step in
filling these details is the selection of a job coordinator. According to SOP 011, p.5,
job coordinators are selected by the following process:
1. Every six months, in conjunction with the Departments shift bid process, a notice
is to be placed in the Official Bulletin soliciting the names of officers interested in
coordinating off-duty details.
2. Officers that do not coordinate an off-duty detail shall be given preference over
officers of any rank that already coordinate a permanent off-duty detail.

Further provision include that job coordinators shall be selected by rank, then seniority
and that job coordinators cannot coordinate more than two permanent off-duty details at
the same time although exceptions can be approved by the Off-Duty Team.

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Job coordinators are then responsible for staffing and scheduling the off-duty details they
coordinate and interact directly as liaison with the employer and the off-duty office.
They also have the authority, which can be reviewed, to dismiss an employee from their
off-duty detail. There are no stated guidelines that refer to how they select officers to
staff their details, although there is a provision that the Off-Duty Team is to ensure all
eligible employees are granted equal opportunity to available off-duty details.

In multiple interviews MBPD employees referred to these permanent details as closed
details with little turnover in job coordinators who own the detail for long periods of
time. Review of the agencys records indicated that some officers had ownership of a
detail for many years, and that even command staff officers controlled details. This
practice prevents the department from maintaining total control of the secondary
employment system and may provide the opportunity for creation of a de facto hands
off policy. This is especially true where a high ranking officer who has influence over
an employees on-duty status is in control of these closed details.

Special Events details are infrequent, one time or annual events, which require a City
permit and may involve large numbers of people and the use of City property, streets
and/or parks. Policy dictates that the Off-Duty Team shall designate a job coordinator for
each Special Event based upon an evaluation of the number of participants, the number of
off-duty employees needed and the events potential impact on the community.
Furthermore, officers that coordinate Special Events on an annual basis shall be allowed
to remain the event coordinator. Once the officer does not wish to continue coordinating
an event, the event shall be given to an officer on the rotation list. An officer cannot give
the coordinator position to another officer; it must be assigned by an Off-Duty Team
supervisor. (SOP 011 p.4)

The job coordinator duties for special events are the same as for permanent off duty
details. They select and schedule which officers work, with no policy guidance. PERF
staff heard the same criticism of them as with the permanent details.

Recommendation: The MBPD should mandate that all details are controlled and
coordinated and that all officers are assigned by the Off-Duty Employment Office with
the office configured separate of the MBPD as recommend above. The MBPD job
coordinator position should be abolished and any closed details eliminated. The Off-
Duty Employment Office should perform all the duties that have been delegated to the
job coordinators and should be staffed appropriately. There should be no distinctions
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among the assignment processes based on the type of detail. Instead, the Off-Duty
Employment Office should maintain a master calendar of all detail opportunities, along
with a master list of employees desiring to work off-duty details. The initial officer list
should be by seniority. Three weeks in advance of a detail, the first person on the list
should be offered the opportunity to work the detail. If that person chooses not to work
the detail, then the next person on the list is offered the opportunity, and so on down the
list. Once an officer accepts a detail, his/her name goes to the bottom of the list. If a
person refuses two straight opportunities to work, his/her name goes to the bottom of the
list. This process will end detail ownership and will provide a fair and equitable
process for those wishing to work off-duty details.

The example of the NOPD consent decree specifies that only the coordinating office can select
officers to work details and employees are strictly prohibited from permitting another employee
to work the detail in their place. This prohibition is in place to protect against officers either
selling details after they have been chosen for them or prohibits officers from signing up for
multiple details at the same time, being selected for more than one detail, and then receiving a
kick-back from another officer to whom he has relinquished the work.

Recommendation: MBPD GO #13-08 section X.B.4 should be revised to prohibit
employees from being responsible for finding a replacement Full-Time Sworn Officer if
the employee is unable to work a scheduled off-duty detail. The employee should
immediately notify the Off-Duty Employment Office, which will find a replacement.
The MBPD should consider one of the available off-the-shelf personnel software
scheduling tools to assist the agency in notifying and scheduling officers for off-duty
details.

The following are additional progressive practices and have been identified by the DOJ in
consent decrees.

The Off-Duty Employment Office should have the authority to suspend officers from
details or completely remove them from details for a specified period of time for poor
performance, policy violations, etc.
The MBPD must require all officers volunteering to work off-duty details to complete
and submit a form requesting permission to do so and acknowledging the departments
policies regulating off duty employment.
Supervisor responsibility should be described for each off-duty detail whether by on-duty
or off-duty supervisors working the detail. The Off-Duty Employment Office should
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mandate, based on direction of the MBPD, how many supervisors are required to work
large scale events and details.
The Off-Duty Employment Office must maintain a searchable database of all secondary
employment, who worked each detail, the number of hours worked, and the assignment
locations in both historic and current formats.
The City should establish a fee schedule to offset costs associated with the coordination
and required support provided through the Off-Duty Employment Office including
administrative fees, hourly wage rates, and equipment usage. Other variables may be
considered based on the services requested by the individual vendor.
The Off-Duty Employment Office must require that all potential employers work through
its office and ensure that payment by the employer for all details is made in advance of
the actual work to be performed. The office must also ensure that the secondary
employer is aware the detail officer is to receive absolutely no additional compensation
of cash or in-kind gifts. This applies to the officer, his/her family and any other person
acting on the officers behalf.
The MBPD should also prohibit any officer from supervising another employee of higher
rank during off-duty and secondary employment.

Recommendation: The Miami Beach Police Department should change SOP 011 section
X.B.12 from Officers of a higher rank may work a detail coordinated by a lesser
ranking officer to Officers of a higher rank are expressly prohibited from working a
detail coordinated by a lesser ranking officer. This recommendation may be moot if
the department eliminates the job coordinator position as recommended above.

The Off-Duty Employment Office should continue to make an annual public release of
information regarding the number of officers who have worked details, average number of hours
worked, salaries, and total net and gross amount of City income derived through secondary
employment. In the MBPD 2012 Annual Report p21, the following statement appears: During
2012, the Off-Duty Team scheduled officers for 72 Special Events and 657 temporary off-duty
jobs for a total of 79,437 hours and collected $825,740 in administrative fees.

Secondary Employment Compensation

Secondary employment compensation rules are a critically important component of the entire
system. They provide controls for all payments required for off-duty details. These rules help
protect against unauthorized payments and the solicitation of illegal, unethical and immoral
forms of compensation.
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The office is responsible for creating an auditable system to ensure all secondary pay is made to
department employees. Officers are not permitted to receive any form of compensation directly
from the secondary employer. Rather, all payments are made through the city and officers are
compensated on their paycheck. Travel time is not compensated unless specialized department
equipment is required to be used for the detail. The department is responsible for notifying all
officers that circumventing or attempting to circumvent this policy shall subject officers to
discipline up to and including dismissal.

The MBPD has implemented these requirements as part of their secondary employment system.
Its current implementation is consistent with best practices for managing compensation.

Travel time, however, was identified as an issue in the detail system. There is no mandate in the
MBPD secondary employment system for a break in time between the officers end of tour of
duty and the beginning of an off-duty detail. Hence, an officer who ends his regular tour of duty
in the north section of the city at 3:00 PM can begin a detail at the extreme south end of the city
at 3:00 PM. Obviously, it is impossible to be in both places at the same time.

Recommendation: The MBPD should mandate that a period of at least 15 minutes must
exist between an officers on duty working hours and his or her secondary employment.
This action would protect both the city and the secondary employer from paying for
services which cannot possibly be provided (i.e., it is impossible for an officer to be in
two places at the same time).

Limitations on Secondary Employment Work

An effective off-duty and secondary employment policy must establish requirements for
applying to work secondary employment and must set performance standards which must be
maintained if one wishes to be selected for off-duty details. In Miami Beach this means officers
must be state certified and have completed all field training and probationary periods before
becoming eligible for off duty work. MBPD provides the following list of those eligible for off-
duty work on SOP 011, section III.A C.:
A.
1. Assistant Chief;
2. Majors/Division Commanders;
3. Captains/Commanders;
4. Lieutenants;
5. Sergeants;
6. Police Officers, who have successfully completed the FTO program;
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7. Reserve Police Officers, pursuant to the standing Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and City of
Miami Beach agreement;
8. Public Safety Specialists (PSS);
a. PSSs who are trained and have received certification in traffic control and direction, and are
employed as traffic control officers, may be permitted to work off-duty only if;
1) A non-governmental entity is paying for traffic control on public streets,
highways or roads and full time law enforcement officers, as defined in FS
943.10(1), are unavailable to perform these responsibilities. Both criteria must be
met in order to ensure compliance with FS 316.640(3)(b).
9. Other employees are authorized to work off-duty details performing their specific job function
in an off-duty capacity when needed.
B. Reserve Officers, Detention Officers, PSSs and PETs who are scheduled to work an off-duty
detail shall be required to relinquish that off-duty detail to a full time police officer should one
become available up to twenty-four (24) hours prior to the scheduled starting time of the off-duty
detail;
C. Other police agencies shall be authorized to work off-duty details in the City of Miami Beach
at the discretion of the Chief of Police or designee. In the event the Department initiates
Alpha/Bravo scheduling, mutual aid pact agencies may be used for off-duty details pending
authorization by the Chief or designee.

Recommendation: Although command staff positions may work certain types of off-duty
jobs they should be prohibited from working off-duty details. The deputy chief, majors
and captains should be removed from the list of those eligible for off-duty details. These
management employees are salaried rather hourly workers. They are not covered by the
FOP contract and according to federal Fair Labor Standards Act provisions are not
eligible for overtime. Working off-duty details diminishes their standing as command
officers.

An important factor taken into consideration is the establishment of limits on when an officer can
work details if he or she has been absent from work due to illness or due to any of several other
listed reasons. This section requires that an officer who has been absent from work, return to full
duty status and have completed a full tour of duty prior to working an off-duty detail. This
requirement protects the city from officers who may feign the use of sick time then work a detail
in the same time period they were scheduled to work in an on-duty status.

Critically important in any off-duty and secondary policy is the thorough review of secondary
employment that may pose a conflict of interest, particularly where the officer and/or the
department have some type of regulatory authority over the entity requesting an off-duty detail.
This is a very important as it addresses instances where corruption could easily find its way into
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the police department due to an improper association and development of a hands-off practice to
protect supplemental income which may be provided in the form of illicit services.

The policy should also set tighter limitations on the number of hours an officer may work in a
24-hour period and a seven day work week. Limitations are also set for reserve officers in terms
of hours worked, time in service and adherence to department regulations.

Recommendation: The MBPD should further restrict the number of hours an officer
should be permitted to work secondary employment work on the days the officer is
working. The department should prohibit officers from working more than 14 hours in a
24 hour work day 10 hours on duty and no more than four hours in off-duty details.
The limitations on off-duty work provide protection against officers working an
excessive amount of hours which can lead to reduced effectiveness and a lack of
performance in either on, or off-duty capacities. The MBPD currently permits officers to
work 72 hours in a work week (40 hours on duty and up to 32 hours off-duty) and 18
hours in a day (i.e., 10 hours in the regular shift and up to an eight hour detail before or
after their regular tour of duty). This does not include off-time spent in court or overtime
required by exceptional circumstances. Exhaustion may lead to health issues and other
problems in ones personal and professional life, not to mention a reduced ability to
function effectively. The department should consider redefining the current limit of 72
hours worked per week to include regular hours, off-duty details, and overtime.

Recommendation: The Miami Beach Police Department should expressly prohibit its
employees from working off-duty as Personal Security Escorts as now permitted by SOP
0111, section XVI. Working as a body guard can easily create a conflict of interest and
could impair an officers independence of judgment.

Secondary Employment Employee Responsibilities

Employees who wish to work secondary employment should submit a registration form before
starting any detail and annually thereafter. This action is designed to establish that the officer
understands that working the secondary employment is a privilege of being a city employee; that
the officer represents the city; that the officer must abide by department rules and regulations;
and that the officer is subject to discipline for any misconduct while working off-duty details.
By requesting authorization officers also must acknowledge that during their off-duty work they
have the same responsibilities as when on-duty for: carrying specific equipment; documenting
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their activities as though they were on duty; and reporting any allegations of misconduct that
may come to their attention.
22


Recommendation: The MBPD should incorporate language in its off-duty request
forms to remind the officer of his/her duties, obligations, and expectations. Although
these issues are addressed in other rules and regulations, the annual registration and re-
registration is a valuable tool in establishing the officers knowledge of his or her duties
and responsibilities. It also serves as a reminder to the officer that he or she is not an
independent contractor but rather is an employee of the City of Miami Beach acting
under the color of law. This requirement would also serve to counter any claim that an
officer did not know, was not aware, or was never told that he or she was responsible to
the city as an employee. This excuse occasionally surfaces in arbitrations where an
employee pleads ignorance as an excuse for inappropriate behavior, somehow
rationalizing that the city is at fault for not having made them aware of their status as an
employee of the city, even as they work an off-duty detail in uniform and under color of
law.

Secondary Employment Supervision

Additional supervision is often required during off-duty and secondary employment details.
Departments must consider all staffing levels where supervision is mandated. Depending on the
detail or special event, it can encompass supervisor needs ranging from a sergeant to a captain.
It would be prudent for MBPD to review its current practice for reviewing supervision levels in
its secondary employment system, and ensure that adequate coverage between on and off-duty
supervisors is provided.
Police Pursuit
Police pursuits in any jurisdiction represent an area of extreme high risk, since they can result in
serious injuries and severe property damage. Police pursuits therefore are a major public
concern. It is imperative that police agencies have explicit pursuit policies that clearly define
what is permitted and what is not. Restrictive pursuit policies, coupled with training and after-
action reviews, ensure that officers understand the serious nature of high speed pursuits and their
potential aftermaths.



22 The DOJ Consent Decree with the NOPD identifies several of these factors for reference use
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Pursuit Policy

The policy governing pursuits for the Miami Beach Police Department is SOP 014 and amended
by General Order 14-01, drafted on February 13, 2014. MBPD officers are permitted to pursue a
vehicle when an officer has a reasonable belief that a violent felony has been or will be
committed. All other pursuits are prohibited. MPBD policy further clarifies how officers are to
make decisions to pursue:

1. Officers may initiate pursuits only where there is a reasonable belief that a violent felony
has been committed, or will be committed.
2. A violent felony must involve violence or the threat of violence to another person (such
as murder or manslaughter, kidnapping, armed robbery, sexual battery, aggravated
assault, or any other felony which includes the use or threat of physical force or violence
to a person).
3. MBPD policy stipulates that engaging in a pursuit is tantamount to the decision to use
deadly force.
4. Officers and supervisors must use best judgment based on training and experience.
5. Officers and supervisors must weigh the seriousness of the offense and determine
whether the risk of pursuit under current conditions is reasonable.
6. Only vehicles with emergency equipment are permitted to engage in pursuits.
7. Other types of vehicles, such as unmarked vehicles or motorcycles must get a
supervisors permission to engage in pursuit, and only may do so until receiving
assistance from a marked vehicle.
8. Officers are prohibited from engaging in a pursuit while transporting non-police
personnel.

Typically, no more than two marked units are authorized to engage in a pursuit. Other officers,
designated as back-up units, monitor the pursuit and respond to anticipated locations along the
route. They may position themselves at particular locations so that they can render emergency
assistance when needed.

When initiating a pursuit, officers are to notify the Public Safety Communications Unit via radio
and relay their location, direction of travel and estimated speed, along with a description of the
fleeing vehicle. Officers must also relay the specific reason for the pursuit and any laws
violated. Pursuing officers are to change from a primary pursuing vehicle to a support or back-
up unit when an air unit gets involved in the pursuit, or when another police vehicle is closer to
the fleeing vehicle.
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Pursuing officers are prohibited from deliberately making contact with the fleeing vehicle, or
physically forcing it into parked cars or other obstacles. Officers are also prohibited from
conducting pit maneuvers, ramming or driving alongside the fleeing vehicle while it is still in
motion. SOP 014 further specifies that pursuing officers must operate the police vehicle in such
a way that does not endanger life and property, and ensure at all times that the safety of all
persons using the highway is prioritized. Roadblocks are prohibited.

MBPD policy states that officers are prohibited from firing shots from or at a moving
vehicle, unless the officer has done everything he/she can to move out of the way of the
vehicle, or according to policy, the officer has determined that shooting the driver and/or
occupants is the only action the officer can take to prevent the imminent danger of death or
serious physical injury to himself, other officers or another person.

Recommendation: The MBPD should make it a high priority to update its Use of Force
policy to simply and specifically state that officers are prohibited from shooting at
vehicles unless the occupants are attempting to use deadly forceother than the
vehicleagainst them. Such policy is a nationally accepted best practice. Shooting the
operator of a moving vehicle does not result in a stopped vehicle it simply raises the
chances of danger or injury from an uncontrolled vehicle.

Officers are to terminate a pursuit when the violation is determined to be a traffic infraction, a
non-violent felony or a misdemeanor. Additionally, officers are instructed to terminate a pursuit
when the fleeing vehicle has increased its distance a great deal, or when the officer loses sight of
the fleeing vehicle for an extended period. Supervisors can order a pursuit to be terminated
when there is reported equipment failure, or a clear danger exists, such as extremely high rates of
speed that significantly exceed the normal flow of traffic. Supervisors must also evaluate other
conditions, such as weather or poor lighting, or when the fleeing violator exhibits flagrant
violations such as driving the wrong way on a street or highway. Any officer who feels that the
pursuit should be terminated can relay this via radio, and discontinue the pursuit.

When a pursuit crosses into another agencys jurisdiction, the Miami Beach Public Safety
Communications Unit notifies that agency and advises if the pursuing officer requires assistance.
MBPD officers are not authorized to become involved in a pursuit initiated by an outside agency
unless authorized by a supervisor. The supervisor must determine that the outside agency unit
requires assistance, or that there is clear evidence that an immediate MBPD response is
necessary.
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Following a pursuit, officers must fill out a Motor Vehicle Pursuit Report and submit it to a
supervisor prior to the end of their shift. Any additional officers involved will fill out a
supplemental report detailing their involvement, at a supervisors discretion. Supervisors who
were in charge of the pursuit must submit a written After Action Report, to their chain of
command which travels ultimately to the chief of police. This must be done within 72 hours
after the incident. The After Action Report includes a detailed summary of the pursuit, the
weather conditions, descriptions of the emergency vehicles involved, the number of vehicles
involved, a summary of radio procedures used during the pursuit, a description of any offensive
tactics and whether any firearms were used, and what supervisory actions were taken.
Supervisors also offer an analysis of the pursuit to determine if any policies were violated. They
must also include an Audio Tape Request form along with the after action report. In cases
involving a sergeant who drives one of the pursuing vehicles, a manager of higher rank handles
the after-action report.

The PERF team examined MBPD pursuit policies, reviewed pursuit after action reports,
conducted multiple interviews and participated in several overnight ride-alongs to observe
officers and supervisors in the field.

All reports properly capture the events leading up to the pursuit, including traffic density,
weather conditions, officer actions, and importantly, suspect actions and a description of the
initial crime which led to the decision to initiate the pursuit. Reports reviewed by PERF show a
sustained pattern of a clear understanding of the serious nature of pursuits. All reports reviewed
emphasize the chain of events that led each supervisor and manager involved to decide if the
pursuit was justified and whether it should be allowed to continue. Each pursuit after action
report appears to follow a template that ensures clarity and consistency and expedites the review
through the chain of command to the chief.

With the exception of recommended changes to policy regarding shooting at moving vehicles,
the MBPD process for control, review and evaluation of vehicle pursuits is in keeping with
progressive practices.
Substance Abuse
PERF reviewed documents pertaining to the substance abuse policy for the Miami Beach Police
Department and other employees of the City. There are references to four documents that govern
MBPD drug and alcohol testing:

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MBPD SOP 135: Drug Testing, last revised 7/15/03
Article 14, Drug Testing from the Agreement Between City Of Miami Beach, Florida
And Miami Beach Fraternal Order Of Police William Nichols Lodge No. 8 (Period
Covered October 1, 2012 Through September 30, 2015)
Random Drug Testing Agreement referenced in Article 14 of the FOP contract; and
City of Miami Beach Drug and Alcohol Misuse Prevention, 2/14/2014

These policies govern random drug testing and testing for cause or reasonable suspicion for
alcohol and/or drug use. The Random Drug Testing Agreement was not available for PERF
review. It is clear from the available documents that MBPD members are subject to testing for
unlawful drugs on both a random and reasonable suspicion basis. It is not clear the extent to
which officers are subject to either random or reasonable suspicion testing for alcohol.

Recommendation: The city and the MBPD should develop clear and unambiguous
policy and protocols that mandate alcohol testing for police officers on both a random
and reasonable belief basis. Public confidence in the police department and the safety of
both the public and police officers will be enhanced by testing aimed at precluding that
officers are impaired by alcohol (as well as drugs).

Currently, Article 14 of the contract between the city and the FOP describes the procedures for
drug testing FOP members of the MBPD based on reasonable belief/suspicion that an employee
has used an unlawful drug. Reasonable belief testing is guided by objective factors (FOP
contract, pg. FOP-46) which would cause a reasonable person to suspect that an employee is
under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs while on duty. The MBPD defines Reasonable
Suspicion or Belief as, [c]ircumstances which reasonably indicate that an employee may be
under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. These circumstances could include behavior
changes, moodiness, disheveled appearance, smell of alcohol, etc (MBPD SOP #135, pg. 3).
The term objective factors is not defined in the contract, nor does the contract specifically
describe testing for alcohol. However, a form to help identify such behavior is appended to SOP
135.

The employee is directed to submit to a urinalysis to determine whether the suspicion is accurate
and, in fact, whether the employee tests positive for one or more prohibited substances. The
contract further provides that an employee may disagree and object to the testing if the employee
believes there is not a reasonable belief, based on objective factors, that the employee has
used an unlawful drug (FOP contract, pg. 46). In such instances, the urine sample(s) are
frozen and the matter submitted to an arbitrator for determination, as soon as possible. If the
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arbitrator agrees there is reasonable belief, the testing proceeds as originally directed. If the
arbitrator finds there is no reasonable belief, the specimen(s) are not tested and must be
discarded. Specific directions exist within the contract dictating the exact testing which must be
completed in conjunction with any reasonable belief order to do so.

It was reported that MBPD employees are subject to random testing for drugs and alcohol in
accordance with the Random Drug Testing Agreement. However, the Agreement describing the
process was not made available to PERF. The process described in interviews indicates that
members are randomly selected for testing using a computer software program which nominates
two sworn employees every weekday. It was reported that the selection process is controlled and
operated by employees assigned to the Police Chiefs office. No members of the MBPD are
exempt from the drug testing process as all sworn personnel, including the chief of police, are
required to comply with the random drug testing policy. The testing is processed via urine
sample and testing is conducted only at an approved facility.

If an employee tests positive during a random drug/alcohol screening, the incident is assigned to
the Internal Affairs unit for investigation and report to the police chief.

The citys policy on Drug and Alcohol Misuse Prevention defines Prohibited Drugs or
Controlled Substances as follows: These two terms are used interchangeably. Per 49 CFR,
safety sensitive employees will be tested for: marijuana, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP),
and amphetamines including methamphetamine. Other controlled substances may be included
for City wide purposes in accordance with City policy and contracts of the five bargaining units.

There are no provisions in the MBPDs directives that mandate drug or alcohol testing for
officers involved on vehicle crashes or officer involved shootings.

Last Chance Agreement

The FOP contract contains a section that provides the availability of a last chance agreement
being afforded any FOP member who has tested positive for either drugs or alcohol as the result
of a random or reasonable suspicion drug/alcohol test. The decision to make such an agreement
available rests solely with the City Manager, in consultation with the Police Chief, and does not
preclude any form of concurrent disciplinary action. An employee subject to a last chance
agreement is required to be cleared for return to work by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)
as selected by the City and must accept unannounced drug testing for a period of no more than
two years. An employee is eligible for only one last chance agreement.
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It is significant that the FOP contract contains a mandate requiring, [e]mployees who test
positive a second time for drugs or alcohol as the result of an unannounced, random or
reasonable suspicion drug/alcohol test, shall be terminated from employment with the City
(FOP contract, pg. 47). The contract further mandates if an employee who is offered a last
chance agreement has his/her certification revoked through Florida Department of Law
Enforcement, he/she shall immediately be terminated from employment with the Miami Beach
Police Department and shall have no right to grieve, oppose the termination, and no right to any
other position with the City (FOP contract, pg. 47).

These sections mandating termination of employment for specific violations of city policy are
significant because they represent a strongly worded, powerful agreement between the union and
the city demanding a safe workplace, free of dangers associated with employee substance abuse.

The MBPD has employed a variety of rules and regulations regarding employees
responsibilities concerning substance use/abuse including, but not limited to, a requirement for
all sworn members to immediately report any known infractions of department policy. All
employees must review and sign these regulations as part of their orientation phase of initial
employment. The city also publishes the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Managers Guide
and a Step by Step Guide for using the EAP, circa 2002. All employees are apprised of the EAP
process during their hiring orientation. All supervisors are reminded of their responsibilities
regarding the EAP process upon their promotion. There is no indication of any additional
training regarding substance abuse, treatment, or services available to police department
employees.

Recommendation: The City of Miami Beach should expand its drug testing policies for
the police department to include modern, commonly abused, synthetic drugs such as bath
salts and performance enhancing drugs, such as steroids. Furthermore, the city should
include alcohol in its testing policy as a means of enhancing its commitment to creating
the safest possible operating environment for both internal and external customers.
These expansions to the current policy would bring the City of Miami Beach in line with
contemporary best practices and help to hold its police officers to a high standard of
accountability.

This action can serve as a critical element in the agencys efforts to promote a positive
environment of health and wellness.

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Recommendation: The City of Miami Beach should strengthen its substance abuse
policies governing the MBPD as follow. The departments policies should replicate the
citys policies as a method of reiterating the importance of officers working without
impairment. MBPDs policy, as cited in city policy, should:

Clearly identify the conditions which trigger tests administered for drugs and/or
alcohol, i.e. pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-crash and
serious use of force, return to duty, and follow up.
Define any incidents where drug and/or alcohol testing is mandated, e.g.
immediately following an officers involvement in a critical incident. Policy
should include a prohibition from drinking any alcoholic beverages or ingesting
any drug until after testing has been completed.
Define exactly which supervisor(s) can make a decision regarding reasonable
suspicion testing and the specific criteria that personnel must consider in making
such a decision.
Include language requiring every employee to immediately report to a supervisor
or commander, any knowledge or suspicion they have that a fellow employee may
be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol while on duty. This mandate
should also include language which requires all employees to immediately report
themselves to a supervisor if they have reported for duty under the influence of
any alcohol or drug, including prescribed medications, which may impair
performance.
Include language which prohibits the use of alcohol for a specified amount of
time before reporting for ones tour of duty, e.g. 8 hours prior to performance of
duty.
Include language which provides guidance for action if an employee tests positive
for alcohol yet the BAC is less than 0.04%, such as immediate relief from duty
and restriction from returning to duty for a specified period of time (24 hours)
plus follow up testing to determine his or her level of sobriety. The city has
benchmarked 0.04% as the threshold for determining a positive alcohol test.
There is no language directing action for a person who tests between 0.02 and
0.039% therefore, it appears as though such an incident would simply be ignored.
This is a critical consideration as police officers may be required to make split-
second decisions about the use of deadly force or operate a vehicle under
emergency conditions during their tour of duty.
Mandate employee training to include the distribution of educational materials
regarding these requirements and methods for meeting such requirements.
Define a specific training period for all employees to ensure awareness of the
Citys policies, procedures and protocols.
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Mandate specific annual training for all supervisors on the various performance
indicators of probable drug or alcohol use/impairment. The training should also
include instruction on the specific duties and responsibilities of all supervisors
should they be confronted with such a situation including the report of such
conditions from a fellow employee or a member of the public.
Bias-Free Policing
Law enforcement agencies today have increasingly diverse workforces and are serving
increasingly diverse communities. Coping with diversity both inside and outside the agency to
comply with constitutional and legal requirements, enhance relationships between the agency
and diverse communities, and maintain legitimacy throughout the jurisdiction and still
provide essential police services has become a fundamental value within most progressive
police departments.
Officer Tracking and Monitoring
The Miami Beach Police Departments processes for establishing standards for bias-free policing
and ensuring officer adherence are consistent with recommended progressive practices. They are
administered in a fair and equitable manner. SOP 5 makes it clear to all MBPD members that
bias in any form is inconsistent with their role as officers and with best practices in the agency.
SOP 5 sets the standard for officer conduct. Each relevant MBPD tracking form, incident report,
and IA form mirrors the agencys embrace of diversity and commitment to bias-free policing as
core values.
Recruit and In-service Training
Recruitment and training are consistent with the agencys commitment to bias-free policing.
Recruitment expressly requires diversity to be considered, as does promotion within the agency.
MBPDs training encompasses modules on people of color, diverse communities, LGBT
communities, and cultural bias. MBPD has been a leading agency in providing training to
officers on LGBT issues. MBPD was one of the first police agencies to have an LGBT liaison
officer, and its in-service training sensitively and accurately reflects current standards with
respect to transgender individuals. MBPD policy requires officers to treat each individual
equally without regard for individual officers expressed or inherent bias. Its search policy
explicitly forbids officers from conducting body searches designed to determine the physical
anatomical gender of individuals.

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Dealing with Complaints of Bias
MBPDs internal affairs process, discussed above, is consistent with progressive practices, and
meets the standard for addressing complaints of bias.
Efforts to Address Unconscious Bias
MBPDs in-service and recruit training expressly addresses unconscious bias. PERFs review of
these materials included detailed lesson plans on these subjects, and also indicates that numerous
officers have qualified as instructors in these areas.
Further Challenges
MBPD has expressly dealt with many of the challenges resulting from the richness of diversity in
its community and its workforce. Its principal remaining challenge is developing a better
strategy to police the annual Memorial Day / Urban Beach Weekend event. Past events have
been characterized by polarized relations between the police and younger members of the
African-American community attending the event.

Urban Beach Week is a hip-hop festival held in Miami Beach's South Beach over the Memorial
Day weekend since 2001. The event has become known for its parties and fashions, as well as
sometimes problematic incidents. The events of Urban Beach Week are typically spread over
five days. The city does not sponsor the event and there is no one organizer. Instead, it is a
weekend of rolling performances in private venues. Some years, the Memorial Day Weekend
events have run relatively smoothly. On its worst years, as described in interviews, fights break
out, punctuated by bursts of gunfire and stampedes. Since Urban Beach Week began in 2001,
there have been four fatal shootings associated with the event. Past years have been marred by
bad behavior and growing tensions between partygoers and police.

In 2011, police from another jurisdiction working in Miami Beach pursuant to the Citys detail
officer policies, fatally shot a man in a car. Several people were injured by the gunfire. Although
the event took place in Miami Beach, due to the large number of attendees, Miami Beachs
special event detail policy brought hundreds of detail officers from other police agencies into the
city to provide a police presence. Miami Beach PD, and the city itself, have suffered from the
perception that its officers were hostile to the presence of young African-American event
attendees at this annual event.

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Recommendation: The MBPD should address perceptions of racial bias in its special
events operations by engaging in targeted outreach to civil rights, civil liberties, and
minority rights advocacy groups. This will assist in improving its relationships with
various advocacy groups and members of the public. In addition, the City should
consider creating a special events coordinator position within the department as discussed
in the off-duty details section.
Additional Identified Department Matters
As identified earlier in the report, the review and assessment included interviews with many
stakeholders both in and outside of the department. During the course of these interviews, the
PERF team became aware of other issues that although not identified in the scope, were worthy
of discussion for city and MBPD awareness. The sections below briefly describe theses areas.
Organizational Relationships
Interviews with city and department staff indicated some strained relations may exist between
the MBPD and other city components. The concerns most cited centered on the city attorneys
office, budget, pay and benefits, or purchasing-related issues. Challenges and disagreements
occur in any local, state, or federal operation, but effective working relationships are necessary
for overall success. Interviews with the Mayor and City Manager stressed the importance of all
city functions working as a team. Working quickly to improve relationship between the MBPD
and other city agencies must become a priority for all.
Special Assignment Rotation
The MBPD currently has no policy or practice of rotating officers assigned to specialty
components of the agency. Although mandatory rotation policies may negatively impact the
level of skill needed for certain investigations, such as homicide, it may benefit the agency in
other areas such as the departments Special Operations Units Assertive Crime Enforcement
Squad (ACE), Crime Suppression Team (CST), and Strategic Investigations Squad (SIS). These
particular functions, which essentially operate as day-to-day problem-solvers based on
department-identified needs, target specific areas of the city with a variety of police tactics.

Recommendation: The MBPD should review duty assignments particularly among the
Special Operations Units Assertive Crime Enforcement, Crime Suppression Team, and
Strategic Investigations Squad to ensure that periodic rotations are occurring for both
officers and sergeants. Proactive prevention measures such as rotation of duty
assignments in areas described above should be part of any agencys misconduct
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prevention strategy. A maximum 4-year assignment in the Special Operations Unit
would provide officers throughout the department with an opportunity to serve in these
specialized units as well as provide fresh perspectives and diversity in the units.
Impaired Driving
Discussions with city leaders indicated a concern regarding sufficient resources to target driving
under the influence (DUI) offenses. Several recent high profile arrests or motor vehicle crashes
have been attributed to drug or alcohol related driving. A Miami Herald September 15, 2013
newspaper article titled DUI arrests down way in Miami Beach
23
, cited DUI arrests were
down in Miami Beach as well as many nearby communities including Miami, Miami Gardens,
and Doral. Although the article identified a number of potential changes and challenges, from
competing police priorities to officer perceptions of lenient court programs, arrests were down
62% from 1,299 in 2009 to 492 in 2012.

The MBPD uses a variety of officers and methods to target DUI offenses including area
saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints. Interviews with MBPD command staff indicate they are
working to re-certify their current two drug recognition officers and train other officers as well.
Limited funding has precluded this in the past. The department does have approximately eight
officers assigned to the Motor (motorcycle) Squad that works both day and evening shifts. Their
primary focus is on traffic related issues.

Recommendation: The MBPD should enhance its DUI enforcement efforts through the
combined use of the Motor Squad, the Special Operations Units Assertive Crime
Enforcement Squad and two Crime Suppression Teams. These units, working together as
part of their regular enforcement duties using saturation patrols and occasional DUI
checkpoints, would enhance the departments DUI enforcement efforts and combat other
potential criminal acts discovered through traffic enforcement.





23 http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/15/3629749/dui-arrests-down-way-down-on-miami.html
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Crisis Intervention Teams
A July 2013 PERF publication titled Civil Rights Investigations of Local Police: Lessons
Learned
24
reveals that police use of force has been one of the primary issues behind the U.S.
Department of Justices investigations of local police departments for civil rights violations. One
of the key aspects identified by DOJ in each mandate is the use of de-escalation techniques when
confronted with a potential use of force situation. De-escalation techniques can include the use
of verbal skills to bring a peaceful conclusion to a potentially confrontational event, critical when
dealing with subjects exhibiting erratic or dangerous behavior due to medical impairment, mental
illness, or the influence of alcohol or drugs. Due to the influx of visitors and the citys festive
atmosphere, responding to such calls can be a frequent event in Miami Beach.

Although most agencies provide broad training in crisis intervention, many police agencies have
successfully implemented crisis intervention teams that can be comprised of specially trained
officers and/or mental health providers that can be called upon when handling mental crisis or
drug and alcohol abuse situations. The FDLE requires all certified police officers undergo crisis
intervention training as part of the recruit academy. But additional specialized training is limited
to that provided by the police agency. In reviewing the training curricula for both post academy
and in-service training, the MBPD does discuss and address mental health related issues and
verbal judo training
25
in both training settings. No specific crisis intervention training was
identified.

Recommendation: The MBPD should implement crisis intervention training in both
post academy and its yearly in-service training. Based on the number of mental health
and alcohol related incidents the agency responds to, crisis intervention training is a
necessary and practical tool.

Recommendation: The city and the MBPD should establish crisis intervention teams
that are a combination of law enforcement officers and mental health providers. Such
teams in other jurisdictions are often available seven days a week and dispatched by 911


24 Critical Issues in Policing Series, Civil Rights Investigations of Local Police: Lessons Learned. Police Executive
Research Forum, July 2013. http://policeforum.org/library/critical-issues-in-policing-
series/CivilRightsInvestigationsofLocalPolice.pdf

25 Department training designed to provide officers with additional tactical verbal skills to aid them in their daily
law enforcement interactions and control potentially volatile situations from escalating.
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operators. The teams are most often used in police encounters with mentally ill persons,
suicidal threats, emergency commitments, drug and alcohol related crisis, and situational
crisis. Incorporating a working team of officers or combination of officer and mental
health providers specially trained to handle crisis intervention events would serve as an
asset to the city. A model to be examined is in place in the Palm Beach County Sheriffs
Office.





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CONCLUSION
The Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) is a nationally accredited law enforcement agency
through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). This is an
internationally recognized process that requires a police agency to meet over 400 standards.
MBPD is also one of the largest police agencies in Miami-Dade County with almost 500 sworn
and civilian personnel. The MBPDs good pay and benefits attracts law enforcement personnel
to work in an environment rich in culture and entertainment.

Over the last several years, police incidents involving both lethal and less-lethal uses of force and
other officer misconduct issues have brought community attention to the department, concerning
city leaders. In the months following the death of a young man after a MBPD officer deployed
an electronic control weapon to effect an arrest, the citys newly elected mayor and city manager
sought a review of the agency and many of its policies and practices. The Police Executive
Research Forum (PERF) provided this review.

As part of the review process, the PERF team was provided a thorough briefing by the agency
and city leaders regarding a number of past incidents including police involved shootings,
general use of force complaints, and other officer misconduct involving inebriated officers. With
the exception of an August 2013 death involving an electronic control weapon deployment,
many of these incidents had occurred prior to the July 2011.

Immediately following a July 2011 incident on city beach, where two on-duty MBPD officers
were involved in an alcohol related all terrain vehicle crash which seriously injured several
pedestrians, the department implemented several changes to address officer misconduct and a
lack of adequate supervision. Many were held accountable for the incident, which appears to
have served as a turning point for the agency. The department immediately initiated ethics
training for all personnel. More recently, the department began leadership training not just for
supervisors and command personnel, but for all officers as well.

PERFs study, which was designed to look at specific components of the agency and how it
operates today, resulted in a number of recommendations for the city and MBPD leaders to
review and consider for implementation. Overall, the agency provides effective police services
in a diverse and challenging environment. But improvements can be made.




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Organizational Structure
As an organization, the MBPD should review its organizational structure and span of control.
Recommended changes should equalize and improve accountability for senior command
personnel.

The MBPD should ensure they are selecting the best personnel by working with the city Human
Resources director to establish a diverse selection review committee to be used when hiring new
officers. To benefit the department in the future and ensure the best officers are promoted
through the departments ranks, the city and MBPD should negotiate alternatives to the current
police union contract that provides the chief of police the ability to select promotional candidates
from a group of officers versus having to select in rank order.

Use of Force Policy
A review the departments use of policy and practice identified several recommendations for
change including mandating that all use of force episodes are documented, ensuring that all
deadly force incidents receive the same rigorous investigation regardless of harm, language in
each Memorandum of Understanding regarding use of force, updated terminology for Electronic
Control Weapon (ECW) and less- lethal force, and clarification in policy regarding
deployment of the ECW. The review also recommends the creation of a Use of Force Review
Board (UFRB) to review all use of force cases.

Training
With regards to department training, the department should add an additional 20 hours of annual
mandatory re-training in the spring of each year. The current state requirement is minimal for a
modern professional police agency. The MBPD should include training specific to the topic of
de-escalation and minimizing the use of force. In addition, all officers should receive Mobile
Field Force training in the areas of civil disturbance and dealing with large crowds. Sergeants
should receive training relevant to their new positions as soon as they are promoted. Also, the
department should create a leadership development program for its future leaders.

Crisis Intervention Training
The department should also implement crisis intervention training in both post academy and its
yearly in-service training. Based on the number of mental health and alcohol related incidents
the agency responds to, crisis intervention training is a necessary and practical tool.

The city and the MBPD should consider establishing crisis intervention teams that are a
combination of law enforcement officers and mental health providers. In many cities these
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teams are often available seven days a week and dispatched by 911 operators. The teams are
most often used for police encounters with mentally ill persons, suicidal threats, emergency
commitments, drug and alcohol related crisis, and situational crisis. Incorporating a working
team of officers or combination of officer and mental health providers specially trained to handle
crisis intervention events would serve as an asset to the city

Accountability
Although several recommendations were provided regarding the departments accountability
systems, the most significant was for the city and the MBPD to consider creating an annual
external review process to provide independent oversight of the departments internal affairs
investigations.

Body Cameras
The use of on-body recording systems, also known as cop-cams or on-officer video, should be
strongly considered by the agency. These recordings can greatly assist an agency in resolving
complaints; identifying, collecting, and preserving evidence; enhancing training; and improving
front-line supervision.

Off-Duty Details
Off-duty was of significant concern to city leaders and many interviewed in the review process.
A substantial number of recommendations are made to improve the current process. Potential
conflict of interests should be reduced. The system should be redesigned to eliminate closed
details, and all those desiring to work off-duty should have fair and equitable access to all off-
duty employment opportunities. The MBPD should revamp its Off-Duty Employment office to
be more in line with the Secondary Employment Coordinating Office recommended by the
USDOJ in the example of the New Orleans Police Department.

The MBPD should review the number of hours officers are allowed to work per day as
recommended to ensure excessive work doesnt lead to reduced effectiveness and performance.

Shooting at Vehicles
And lastly, PERF strongly recommends the MBPD update the Use of Force policy to simply and
specifically state that officers are prohibited from shooting at vehicles unless the occupants are
attempting to use deadly forceother than the vehicleagainst them. Such policy is a
nationally accepted best practice.

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The Miami Beach Police Department has been undergoing significant improvement over the last
several years, partly in order to respond to with episodes of high profile officer misconduct. This
review provides a blueprint for further enhancement. In most instances the new leadership team
has a sound foundation to build a police agency that will be viewed as professional, open and
trustworthy to all who live in the city as well as those who that come to the city for its many
attractions.