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Thomasville Police work toward transparency following use-of-force cases; here's how

Posted at 6:30 PM, Oct 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-05 18:30:46-04
  • The Thomasville Police Department is hosting a Use of Force Summit the next two Thursdays.
  • The Summit is meant to teach the public about the department's use of force policy.
  • Check out the video above to find out what a community member thinks about the summit.


"We want our community to have an opportunity to ask us what is that we do and why do we do it," said John Letteney, Thomasville Chief of Police.

Open dialog while being transparent.

Thomasville Chief of police, John Latteney says they will be answering questions from the community about their use of force policy.

More specifically, they will be explaining their protocols when it comes to police interactions when force becomes necessary.

This event is coming on the heels of last month's officer-involved-shooting.

Something top of mind for community members like Shaqwetta Johnson

"It was devastating, it was sad, thinking about his mother, his father, his siblings," said Shaqwetta Johnson.

Johnson reflects on when she first heard the news about the death of 19-year-old Alfred Shawntez Cole. His life was claimed in an officer involved shooting earlier this year involving the Thomas County Drug Squad.

Although the case is still under investigation, it still left many in the community uneasy.

I asked Johnson had she heard about the Thomasville Police Department's Use of Force Summit that was happening and whether she thought this would be helpful.

Shaqwetta Johnson, Lives in Thomasville "It might not be what the community wants to hear at the moment because he was so young and still had his whole life ahead of him.

I spoke with Chief of Police John Letteney and he says this summit is meant to increase transparency between law enforcement and the community. The event showcases how officers are trained, teaches about the law, and provides interactive scenarios revolving around use of force cases.

In 2022 there were 52 Use of Force Cases in the Thomasville area.

The officer involved shooting happened with the Thomas County Sheriff's Office, though TPD says incidents like this are never anything easy to deal with.

"The stress of this job weighs on people. Particularly when there's a tragic incident or critical incident," said Chief Letteney.

I made some calls and the shooting is still being reviewed by the district attorney. In the meantime while everyone awaits answers Johnson says she believes the summit is a good idea because…

"It's important to know why," said Johnson.