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Pinellas Sheriff to announce changes to search warrant protocols

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is expected to announce new policies regarding how deputies serve search warrants.

The announcement is expected at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Sheriff’s Office leaders say the change is part of an effort to continually evaluate policies and to be responsive to community concerns about police practices.

The change comes as rallies continue nationwide pushing for law enforcement changes.

RELATED: Pinellas law enforcement launch deadly use of force task force

In July, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office launched a new task force to investigate officer or deputy involved shootings and incidents that result in severe bodily injury. The change means that an outside agency investigates shootings, tasering or use of force and that agency will decide if an officer’s actions were warranted and if they should face any charges.

The change is part of a partnership between several local agencies including the St. Petersburg Police Department, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Clearwater Police Department and Pinellas Park Police Department. The Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force has already been tapped into to investigate an August 7 officer-involved shooting where a St. Pete Police Officer shot a man after she says he began choking her.

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