Local Law Enforcement Officers Citronelle High Sc
A policy problem is defined by the text as a condition that creates needs or dissatisfactions and for which government action is deemed to be appropriate, possible, and sought after. Such conditions are plentiful in society and new ones constantly emerge. A public problem is one that affects a substantial number of people and has broad consequences.
Public trust of law enforcement has been an issue for some parts of our citizenry throughout our nation’s history, but it has received more attention recently given events that have occurred over the past several months.
In June of this year, President Trump issued an Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities aimed at tracking misconduct by law enforcement and creating incentives for departments to improve their practices. A copy of the EO can be found in Course Content under the Week Two Assignments folder, or you can use this link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-safe-policing-safe-communities/
Later, in July, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report titled Public Trust and Law Enforcement— A Discussion for Policymakers that constitutes a summary of information that has been provided to Congress on the problem. This report provides a brief overview of police-community relations and how policymakers might be able to promote improved relationships between the police and their constituents, especially people of color. The report focuses solely on the relationship between the police and the communities they serve. The report also focuses on issues related to state and local law enforcement agencies and not federal law enforcement agencies. It focuses on state and local law enforcement agencies because congressional interest in law enforcement reform has largely centered on what role Congress might play in promoting a better relationships between state and local law enforcement agencies and their communities and how Congress could promote more accountability for state and local law enforcement officers’ use of excessive force. A copy of the CRS report can be found in Course Content under the Week Two Assignments folder, or you can use this link: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43904.pdf
However, policing is mostly considered a local matter and there are limitations on what the president and Congress can do to force departments to adopt their policies. In June of 2020, CRS issued another report, or “legal sidebar,” titled Congress and PoliceReform: Current Law and Recent Proposals. It addresses some of federal limitations on implementing policy reforms at the state and local levels. A copy of the CRS legal sidebar can be found in Course Content under the Week Two Assignments folder, or you can use this link: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/LSB/LSB10486
Review the Executive Order and the CRS reports, along with any other appropriate sources, and address the following:
- Do you believe that the federal government (executive branch or Congress) should play a role in either implementing or influencing policies to build public trust in state/local law enforcement? Explain your answer.
- Describe at least two different issues contributing to a lack of public trust in police and propose specific solutions that should be implemented to address them.