Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Orlando Speaks brings police, community together at Edgewater High School

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 10:44 AM

  • Photo via Orlando Police

City officials and the Orlando Police Department hosted the second installment of Orlando Speaks Tuesday night at Edgewater High School in College Park. Facilitated by the Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute, the event wasn't very different from the first Orlando Speaks in August, says Linda Shrieves Beaty, a spokeswoman for the college. 

"The content is exactly the same, but they have tinkered with the time a bit based on participant feedback," she says. "People at the tables wanted more time to talk to one another." 

Mayor Buddy Dyer and OPD Chief John Mina were both in attendance and asked about recent excessive force cases in the city. 

"We have held [police officers] accountable," Dyer says. "It’s unacceptable to have excessive force but we’re probably one of the most proactive police departments in the entire country. Any use of force by an officer is investigated by his sergeant. 

The city pays the Institute about $2,000 per session, says Marcia Hope Goodwin, chief service officer for the city's Office of Community Affairs and Human Relations. About 170 residents and 35 police officers signed up for the event, and some people were put on a waiting list. People on the list can attend the next Orlando Speaks event, which is being held Feb. 16 in District 4, Goodwin says. 

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