St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman Friday received his transition team's recommendations and many of them were largely critical of the city's police and fire departments.
The six-page report, drafted by a task force appointed by the mayor, calls into question several-police related issues. It suggests officer-involved shootings are at a record high and more training might be needed.
"The new police chief will have to have the foresight, intestinal fortitude, and courage to make the thought decisions and bring about the necessary changes," the report reads.
"I would hate to see that law enforcement dictates how many shootings a year an agency is allowed," said Michael Krohn, Executive Director of the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association, who was highly displeased with the report.
Other police-related recommendations include potentially downsizing the department, reviewing the juvenile arrest policy and using GPS to track officers' behaviors.
"It's quite disheartening that this is what the mayor has to rely on," Krohn said, adding the recommendations are insulting. "We're spending more time in this report trying to handcuff and stop law enforcement officers from being cops and giving criminals more latitude."
The task force suggested the mayor consider finding a new chief at St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue, writing "new direction and leadership" might be needed. The report also included several changes that would affect Fire and Rescue policies, equipment and procedure.
Reached via email, Chief James Large wouldn't directly respond, writing, "these are the recommendations of the citizen advisory group of transition members, and it is up to Mayor Kriseman to accept or reject them."
When asked whether he thought the department was headed in the right direction, Large responded, "absolutely."
Mayor Kriseman dodged direct questions about the report and said he hadn't yet had time to review it. His Chief of Staff, Kevin King, said that should happen next week.
"He's going to be reading the report, studying what they recommended, taking it into consideration and then decide what to do," King said, adding the decisions could take longer than the initial review of the report.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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