National law enforcement conference underway in Sarasota

Orange County Police Car
Posted at 10:49 PM, Oct 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-22 07:58:31-04

SARASOTA, FLA  -- This may be the safest place this week on the Suncoast. The Hyatt Sarasota is home through Friday to 125 aw enforcement personnel from as far away as Hawaii and Canada.

There are seminars and there are vendors--but beyond the displays there is a lot of serious discussion going on about a wide range of law enforcement issues.

"There's a lot of activity out there right now, the shootings, the cons, the scams," said Stacey Payne of the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

After a series of high-profile shootings, Payne says law enforcement has been under the microscope in 2015.

"Law enforcement always has been held to a higher standard, we hold our self to a higher standard. Even when one makes a mistake, it gives a black eye to everybody," she said.

Tess Hays of the Highlands County Sheriff's agrees.

"All this media hype about 'police lives matter,' 'black lives matter,' the bottom line is all lives matter. Nobody wants to take a life, no deputy has that intent, but in the interest of public safety and saving their own lives, they have to take lethal action, use of force," Hays said.

Another issue causing discussion--the use of police body cameras.

The city of Sarasota is going to hold off until the state offers some legal direction--and there's a similar approach right now in other parts of the state.

The conference ends on Friday.