Editor:

I disagree with your editorial of July 19 questioning the effectiveness of a bill designed to strengthen oversight for police shootings.

You feel an independent body is a must to instill public trust. Your opinion is common today where people are more interested in second guess an officer after the fact instead of providing him the tools to avoid such incidents.

You ignore the effectiveness of a multi-layered network in place to oversee police shootings. Every four years the voters provide oversight when they elect their sheriff. The county prosecutor provides oversight by investigating such cases and using a grand jury to determine probable cause. The Justice Department and U.S. Attorney can step in and take control of a department should they find patterns of widespread misconduct.

The bill is correct in focusing on stricter background checks for candidates and mandating greater training protocols for officers.

Independent bodies answer to no one and their training in police tactics and the law are usually suspect. In most states officers are demoralized and resigning. It is a welcome change to see Florida politicians looking to help police officers.

John Fleming

Punta Gorda

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