President Signs Executive Order on Understanding Crime, Law Enforcement

Following a speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police 2019 conference, President Trump signed an executive order establishing a commission to review law enforcement priorities. The commission will be established through the Department of Justice to better understand crime and law enforcement trends.

Under the executive order, Attorney General William Barr will create the Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice with the goal of recommending “actions that can be taken to prevent, reduce, and control crime, increase respect for the law, and assist victims.”

Among other things, the commission will study the influence of substance abuse, homelessness, and mental illness on crime. The commission will also address the best ways to recruit, train, retain, and support law enforcement in their work.

The commission will also focus on how social institutions and situations such as education, employment, social services, and public health services can ease the burden for law enforcement, as well as how technological innovations can improve policing.

“Rigorous study of crime, including its causal factors, and current law enforcement practices is essential to assessing our current criminal justice system's merits and opportunities for improvement,” the executive order stated. “Public safety and proper policing are issues of both national and local significance that continue to require the close cooperation and coordination between the Department of Justice and state, local, and tribal law enforcement.”

Once the commission submits recommendations for action to the attorney general, the attorney general must submit a report to the president within 60 days in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget director.

The creation of a commission dedicated to law enforcement and crime has been a priority of the International Association of Chiefs of Police for several years, and the group praised the president for creating “the first comprehensive commission on criminal justice in half a century.”

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association also praised the executive order’s signing in a post saying, “This Commission will help identify the principle issues impacting law enforcement so they can be solved. We applaud the President for making law enforcement a priority and look forward to working with the Commission to build a safer country for police and the public.”

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