Polk deputies officially have 'duty to intervene' if they see a colleague using excessive force 

In the wake of George Floyd, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office wants to make something perfectly clear.

It is spelling out that deputies have a “duty to intervene.” In other words, if a deputy is going over the line subduing or arresting a suspect, fellow deputies have an obligation to step in.

“If they continue to react, then that’s when you pull them away from the incident. You tell them to take a breath, and calm down,” Polk Sheriff Grady Judd told FOX 13.

Judd said the concept has been taught in the academy since he was a young recruit decades ago.

“But interestingly enough, we didn’t find it in those words in the general orders,” said Judd. “So I added those words so that it was crystal clear to the community. It is already clear to the deputies that they must intervene.”

Other agencies, such as the Lakeland Police Department, said the concept is already covered in a general way in the Code of Ethics that all Florida law enforcement officers swear to uphold.