Eliseo On The Issues
Eliseo has seen the problems in our Sheriff’s Office up close and first hand. He knows that changing the culture of policing in our community starts at the top. Have a question about his policy priorities or want to make a suggestion? Use our “Ask Eliseo a Question” page to get in touch.
Change the Culture – Force Must Be Limited
We entrust our officers with the use of force by the state, but Eliseo knows that needs to be a last resort – not a default option. Officers on patrol should be trained, utilized, and seen by their neighborhoods as public servants – not soldiers awaiting activation.
Police agencies across the country are reining in the use of tasers and other weapons to reduce fatalities – but the current administration has resisted any calls for reform. It’s resulted in a surge of deaths in Pinellas County. Eliseo has pledged to finally limit their use to reduce fatalities.
Require Body Cameras
Eliseo spent 31 years increasing trust and modernizing policing in the Sheriff’s Office – but his efforts to require body cameras were rejected by the administration. As our Sheriff, Eliseo will require all officers to wear body cameras on duty. It’s a common-sense approach that will create trust and transparency in the communities they serve.
Departments around the country are embracing body cameras – it’s time for Pinellas to join them.
Utilize De-Escalation Tactics
The current administration sees our communities as a battlefield to be dominated instead of neighborhoods to be served. Eliseo will require all officers to practice de-escalation tactics during all interactions with the public. These policies have reduced bad outcomes, increased community trust, and decreased officer injuries and fatalities in other departments around the country.
De-Militarize Our Police Force
When all you have is a hammer, every problem becomes a nail. We’ve all seen the transformation of our local police into a military-style occupying force – it should concern every American.
Eliseo will end “broken windows policing” which has been used to occupy Black and brown neighborhoods and escalate violence. He’ll also withdraw from federal programs that allow the Department of Homeland Security and the Joint Terrorism Task Force to conscript our local officers. Eliseo will also prohibit Pinellas County officers from training with military entities – a practice that has resulted in deadly techniques and technologies utilized in foreign wars being adopted by local departments for domestic policing.
Create a Sheriff’s Office We Can All Be Proud Of
Our Sheriff’s Deputies are trained to neutralize threats – but they’re called in to handle issues like drug abuse, mental illness, homelessness, and other community ills. Eliseo knows we need to limit the scope of our Sheriff’s Office so that case workers, mental health advocates, medical personnel, and faith leaders can address these issues without interference.
Eliseo believes that criminal justice reform, at the local and state level, is critical for increasing public safety and trust in our neighborhoods. Eliseo knows that we put too many people in jail for non-violent crimes or for “poverty crimes”. The current Sheriff is complicit in opposing justice reform and in aiding Donald Trump’s tearing apart of immigrant families. The policies of the current Sheriff pit our communities against each other, while incarcerating too many of our neighbors. Eliseo will end these practices as our Sheriff.
Target Resources Effectively
Eliseo believes all officers need advanced training to identify community need and allocate department resources to meet that need.
That means not wasting taxpayer money to over-police low-level misdemeanors or to continue the failed war on drugs. When we start allocating our resources effectively, we’ll save money for taxpayers and create a safer community.