WINDSOR, Va. (WRIC) — As the fallout continues from a viral body camera video showing Windsor police officers pulling over Army Lt. Caron Nazario, the town’s police department is seeking help to train its officers on how to de-escalate similar situations.
In the Dec. 2020 video which started circulating publicly over the weekend, two Windsor police officers draw guns, pepper spray and force Lt. Nazario to the ground, sparking concern from the public.
Facing reporters for the first time Wednesday, Windsor Police Chief Rodney Riddle said there were some things Officer Joe Gutierrez, who was fired from the department Sunday, and Officer Daniel Crocker, who remains on the force, could have done better.
“We can’t take it back, we can’t fix it, but what we have is an opportunity to build, to grow, to improve, to teach our officers,” Riddle said.
The small, seven-man police department is now calling on a non-profit organization for help.
“I’ve been in touch with the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. Been working closely with them to line up some training, to come in and work with our officers,” Chief Riddle said.
“I know that Chief Riddle is making every effort to try to address the concerns of the community, to try to make sure that they do right,” Dana Schrad, executive director of the association, told 8News.
Schrad said the association will offer assistance to the police department with trainings or policy development, which she said smaller police departments like Windsor’s typically do not have many resources for.
The association is recommending three trainings, including an implicit bias training.
“The implicit bias training course we have is four hours of certified in-service training credit for law enforcement that includes two hours of mandated cultural diversity training,” Schrad said.
Schrad said they are also recommending trainings on de-escalation and communication, and citizen-police encounters.
“We want them to be able to, first of all, put a good face out there for the town of Windsor, but secondly, have those communication and de-escalation skills that mean any traffic stop, interaction with the public is positive,” said Schrad.
Online court records show Lt. Nazario, who is at the center of the traffic stop video causing controversy, has been pulled over multiple times in recent years for speeding and tinted windows.