On June 16, 2020, Attorney General William P. Barr met with the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice to discuss the current status of their progress regarding their final report due October 2020. The Attorney General and the commissioners also discussed the way the commission could address key tenets of the President’s recent Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities, promulgated yesterday.
The Attorney General tasked the commission with forging ahead with their existing work, and asked them to look at three areas of the President’s Executive Order in tandem. Attorney General Barr said three points in the Executive Order must be prioritized: Certification, Databases, and Social Problems.
Work on certification would explore ways to incorporate a standardized certification process across law enforcement, acknowledging that the certification requirements will have to be flexible, given disparities in size and resources between urban, rural, and tribal agencies. Developing a database would allow agencies to report use of excessive force into a uniform system accessible by all law enforcement agencies. Rethinking the law enforcement response to social problems would delve into the intersection of homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse and identify ways to fund social service providers who could reduce the burden of social service calls on law enforcement.
While the commission’s work to date has been focused on other issues in law enforcement outside the scope of yesterday’s executive order, the commissioners will meld the thinking of their existing work by the points addressed in the Executive Order on Safe Policing.
The commission will continue to hold hearings as it stays on course to produce a final report for the Attorney General and the President in October 2020. Upcoming topics will include the use of force, culture, and community engagement. Meanwhile, Commissioners are available to provide the Attorney General, at his request, with feedback on implementation of the Executive Order on Safe Policing.
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