President’s Commission on Law Enforcement & Administration of Justice
On December 15th, 2020, U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr submitted his report on the “Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice”, a summation of the Trump Commission’s findings are now possible.
President Trump signed Executive Order No. 13896 in October 2019 with the objective of providing recommendations on the state of American policing, as well as specific measures in reducing crime and promoting the rule of law for years to come just as the Johnson Commission of 1967 did.
After an intense year of research, and additional information compiled following the advent of COVID-19 and civil unrest directed at law enforcement, the Commission has found that our law enforcement has become overtasked. The Commission finds that police departments across the country are being overtasked with issues beyond their expertise, settling social qualms that require complex management that their departments are not adequately suited for, doubled by encumbering unrealistic expectations and destructive social discontent undermining its execution of its already strained responsibilities due to unlawful actions by a few, rather than the whole. This is coupled with the strenuous environments of rising social problems, proliferation of criminal threats unique to the 21st century, and segments of America disrespecting the role of officers, resulting in reduced moral and an increase in law enforcement safety and mental health concerns. The Trump Commission also finds that the law enforcement of today must also contend with “social reform” prosecutors and legislators who deem it necessary to not enforce certain laws, or tech companies who are not held responsible for development and maintenance of lawful access capabilities, preventing law enforcement agencies access to data important in a new age of cyber-crime and terrorism. Most especially, there was a great need for top-down technological and database enhanced sharing capabilities to aid disadvantaged police departments, and communities lacking appropriate health professionals.
In an effort to counter these concerning issues, the Commission on Law Enforcement and Administrative Justice recommended an extensive list of possible solutions that to implemented to mitigate these problems that have a tremendous impact on how officers enforce the law and protect the public, while also protecting law enforcement officer’s well-being. These recommendations largely require multi-disciplinary approaches involving all segments of American government systems to collaborate in enhancing crime databases for information-sharing, developing an analytical framework that can determine the functionality of new technology, and cybersecurity infrastructure to proactively counter a new age of criminal.
The Commission provides an excellent road map to a more refined justice system that provides resolutions to varied complex and systemic issues, not just in accountability of others but the system itself. President Trump said, as much following rioting at the Capitol building last Tuesday, “America is and must always be a nation of law and order…”