Tags: Barack Obama | Barack Obama | task force | 21st century policing

Obama Launches Task Force on 21st Century Policing

By    |   Friday, 19 December 2014 06:24 PM

An 11-member task force has been named to look at the relationship between police departments and the communities they serve around the nation.

President Barack Obama signed the executive order officially creating the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, announcing Thursday the panel would be headed by Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Charles Ramsey and George Mason University professor Laurie Robinson, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"In light of the recent events in Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, and around the country, the administration announced new steps to strengthen the relationships between local police and the communities they are supposed to protect and serve. One of the primary actions was the creation of a task force to improve community policing," the White House website explains.

The task force, the website states, "will examine how to strengthen public trust and foster strong relationships between local law enforcement and the communities that they protect, while also promoting effective crime reduction."

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett says Obama considers the issue "personally important," the Journal reports.

"He has emphasized again and again a need to meet our challenges head on, and to be honest about the complexity of the problems that we face," Jarrett said of Obama's interest in the issue.

"To make meaningful progress, we need to build complex coalitions and spur ongoing discussions and actions at all levels of government and throughout our communities. And he is determined to lead that effort," she said.

Ramsey's appointment was immediately criticized, however, by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, Philadelphia City Paper reports, charging the former District of Columbia top police officer had "a record marked by excessive force, false arrests and complete disregard for constitutional rights."

The Journal reports others on the task force include Jose Lopez of the nonprofit Make the Road New York; Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative; Brittany Packnett of Teach For America; Susan Rahr of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission; Tracey Meares of Yale Law School; Constance Rice of the Advancement Project; Roberto Villaseñor of the Tucson Police Department; Sean Smoot of both the Police Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois and the Police Benevolent Labor Committee; and Cedric L. Alexander, an official in DeKalb County, Georgia.

The panel will make recommendations in a report due in March.

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An 11-member task force has been named to look at the relationship between police departments and the communities they serve around the nation.
Barack Obama, task force, 21st century policing
Friday, 19 December 2014 06:24 PM
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