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President Obama Creates the Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Summary: 
President Obama signs an Executive Order to create the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and announces the members of the new task force.

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Trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services.

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.

This afternoon, President Obama signed an Executive Order to create the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and announced the members of the new task force.


What will the Task Force on 21st Century Policing do?

The task force 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.

The task force will engage with federal, state, tribal, and local officials; technical advisors; young leaders; and nongovernmental organizations to provide a transparent process to engage with the public.

Listening sessions

The task force will also convene listening sessions where they will hear testimony, including proposed recommendations for consideration, from invited witnesses and also receive comments and questions from the public.

The first session will be held in Washington, D.C. in mid-January. Subsequent listening sessions and additional outreach details, including the online public comment process, is forthcoming.

The task force's initial report

The President's Executive Order directs the task force to prepare a report and recommendations to be presented to the President. An initial report will be due to the President in March.


Who's on the task force?

The Task Force on 21st Century Policing will be chaired by:

  • Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, who also serves as President of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association
  • Laurie Robinson, professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University and former Assistant Attorney General for DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs

The task force will also include other law enforcement representatives, community leaders, academics, and youth leaders, including:

  • Cedric L. Alexander
  • Jose Lopez
  • Tracey Meares
  • Brittany Packnett
  • Susan Rahr
  • Constance Rice
  • Sean Smoot
  • Bryan Stevenson
  • Roberto Villaseñor

Ron Davis, Director of DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, will serve as the Executive Director of the task force under the direction of the co-chairs.

Learn more about the task force's members here.


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