An officer under arrest prompts questions about JSO early warning system

JSO's Early Warning System should flag and identify patterns in officers

JSO's Early Warning Sytem (EWS) is supposed to create a system of accountability within the force to flag potentially problematic officers.  EWS notifies supervisors who then investigate and determine what help or discipline the officer needs.

EWS tracks officers who have multiple complaints, use of force incidents or even too many sick days within a three month period. Three or more internal complaints against an officer in three months would trigger the system, according to JSO internal affairs policy updated in 2014. Three or more use of force incidents would also send supervisors a notification.

Statistics released by JSO show an increase in officers flagged for use of force. 

Supervisors were notified about 8 officers for use of force incidents in 2013, 19 in 2014, and 41 in 2015

The majority of notifications for all categories, including use of force incidents, were returned to Internal affairs indicating no further action was required.

In 2015, 51 of 60 incidents were dismissed; 25 of 28 were dismissed in 2014; and 18 of 25 were dismissed in 2013. 

Officer Timothy James, who was arrested Saturday, was being investigating for two separate incidents since April.  Before that, James' personnel file showed 11 other complaints against him during his 3 and a half year career with JSO. Those complaints varied enough in type and date that it appears they did not trigger EWS.

Officer arrested in teen's beating has substantial discipline history

EWS was also at the center of the 2012 shooting of an unarmed man, Davinian Williams, during a traffic stop.

The City of Jacksonville settled with Davinian Williams' family in April for $1.9 million in their civil lawsuit. The shooting officer, Jeff Edwards, testified in a deposition that EWS should have flagged him and pulled him from street duty before his fatal interaction with Davian Williams. 

‘They should have flagged me' testified officer who shot unarmed man

This incident prompted a letter from Sheriff Mike Williams, explaining to Davinian Williams' family that EWS had been updated and improved to better identify patterns.

In the sheriff's letter, he explained changes had been made to EWS as early as March of this year. 

First Coast News has requested an interview with the sheriff to discuss EWS, but has not received a response. 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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