On January 30, 2007, The United States Department of Justice notified the Orange County Sheriff’s Office of its intention to investigate the use of electronic control devices (ECD’s) by Orange County Deputy Sheriffs. Law enforcement experts/consultants working on behalf of the DOJ conducted two multi-day on-site visits of the Sheriff’s Office during June and November of 2007. During those on-site tours, the DOJ representatives reviewed all relevant Sheriff’s Office policies, audited agency training classes, participated in ride-alongs with agency field personnel, and conducted extensive interviews with a cross-section of Orange County Sheriff’s Office command staff, supervisors and deputies.
On August 20, 2008, the DOJ issued a Technical Assistance Letter to then Sheriff, Kevin Beary, which recommended certain practices and procedures to improve the Sheriff’s Office written policies, training, and accountability processes pertaining to the use of ECD weapons. Since the receipt of that letter, the Sheriff’s Office has worked diligently and cooperatively with DOJ to revise and improve the existing policies and procedures on the use of ECD's.
I am pleased to be able to report that since taking office on January 6, 2009, the Sheriff’s Office has made considerable improvements to its policies, training, and accountability process as they pertain to our use of ECD’s.
In September 2010, the DOJ and I entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which set forth objective measurements to enable the DOJ to verify compliance. My commitment to this review has remained steadfast and resolute to ensure our personnel use the level of force that is appropriate under the circumstances presented and consistent with constitutional standards.
After reviewing policy, attending ECD training sessions, reviewing Use of Force reports and the accountability measures implemented, the DOJ issued its findings determining that as of October 1, 2011, the OCSO had demonstrated substantial compliance. Since then, the DOJ entered a period of continued monitoring, which expired March 31, 2013.
I am very proud of the work and determination of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office to implement best practices for the use of an ECD during the course of a required deployment, while respecting the rights of our citizens and the safety of our deputies.
I remain committed to the improvements implemented and will maintain these efforts into the future. I thank DOJ for their review of our Taser policy and the technical assistance they provided during this process.
I am personally committed to providing excellent service to the citizens we serve, while also protecting their rights and working closely with our community and government partners. The documents associated with the DOJ review and Successful Compliance by your Sheriff’s Office are available to you on this portion of our web site.
Jerry L. Demings
Sheriff of Orange County