White House Announces Plans to Build Trust Between Communities and Law Enforcement

February 14, 2017

whiteHouseLogoSquareOn December 1, 2014, the White House announced its plans to strengthen community policing, increase police accountability, and build trust between local law enforcement and the communities they serve. Plans include two executive orders designed to meet these goals as well as the launch of a community policing initiative.

The administration will release an executive order within 120 days that directs relevant agencies to collaborate with law enforcement, civil rights, and civil liberties organizations. These groups will develop recommendations to improve the process and use of federal equipment by police officers, training requirements, federal coordination and oversight, community engagement, and the use of community policing. The executive order is a response to findings from a recent review by the administration on federal funding and programs that provide equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies. The review, which culminated in the report Review: Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition, found inconsistencies with how federal programs are structured, implemented, and audited.

A second executive order will create a Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which will build on research currently conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Information from this research will be used to provide recommendations on how to promote crime reduction while also building trust between local police and the communities they serve. The task force will be chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, also president of Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, and Laurie Robinson, the former assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs. Task force members include law enforcement representatives and community leaders who will work in collaboration with the COPS office.

The White House’s community policing initiative will allocate $263 million over three years to increase the use of body-worn cameras by officers, expand training for law enforcement agencies, increase resources for police department reform, and increase the number of jurisdictions where the U.S. Department of Justice facilitates engagement between communities and local police.

To learn more the White House’s plans to strengthen community policing, click here.

To view the White House report, Review: Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition, click here.

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