NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County appears to have remained quiet over the weekend as protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis — both peaceful and violent — took center stage in the Tampa Bay area.
Law enforcement officials from the Port Richey Police Department and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office reported no such activities within their jurisdictions. An inquiry to the New Port Richey Police Department has not received a response.
PSO Public Information Officer Amanda Hunter did add that the PSO’s General Orders address how to properly handcuff a subject, “pursuant to the latest training standards.”
“Additionally, our defensive and hand-to-hand training standards would not instruct deputies to use tactics such as prohibiting an individual’s air flow.”
Sheriff Chris Nocco released a statement to members of the PSO on Friday which addressed how the PSO is handling and should handle both the COVID-19 pandemic and societal issues.
Titled “Challenging Times,” Nocco’s memorandum to members of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office was released to The Suncoast News on Monday morning and follows in its entirety:
“As a nation, we are indeed in challenging times. Societal issues and COVID-19 are daily issues for us all to view in the media.
As we watch the news unfold, always remember that we have a degree of control in what happens. In all things we do, we ultimately make decisions related to our response and our actions.
When we confront criminals, we decide how to respond and what steps we take to safely control the situation.
As professionals representing the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, we know that what we do and what we say in uniform directly reflects on the entire sheriff’s office.
Over the preceding weeks, our agency has done an exceptional job of working through challenges and adapting to a different operational environment. You have all done what has been asked.
As we move forward as an agency, remember that we are stronger together than we are as individuals.
I ask that each of you continue to commit to our core mission of keeping Pasco safe.
Continue to be professional and recognize that we are looked upon by our community as leaders.
We will continue to work hard and maintain a positive attitude through any adversity that may occur.
Thank you for all you do every day.”