[guest post by Dana]
President Trump today signed an executive order that includes an increase in police funding, as well as police reforms:
President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order aimed at tracking misconduct by law enforcers and creating incentives for departments to improve their practices.
The president, during a speech in the White House Rose Garden that heaped praise on the police and took time to attack his political opponents, said before signing the order that it will ban the use of police chokeholds “except if the officer’s life is at risk.”
Trump lauded law enforcement officers at the event, saying that “the least we can do, because they deserve it so much, they have to get our gratitude and we have to give them great respect for what they do.”
“In many cases local law enforcement is underfunded, understaffed and under [supported],” he added.
Trump rejected calls to “defund the police,” and instead, wants to reward police departments for creating better training and higher standards of practice:
The Trump administration’s order rejects calls to “defund the police” that have gained traction from within the nationwide protest movement. Rather, it aims to reward police departments with federal grant money for updating their standards on training and credentialing and will create a database to track individual cops on metrics such as excessive use-of-force complaints, which would be shared between departments.
The order would also give departments incentives to involve trained professionals, such as social workers, to respond to calls for certain nonviolent issues — including mental health, drug addiction and homelessness — rather than police alone.
“I strongly oppose the radical and dangerous efforts to defund, dismantle and dissolve our police departments,” Trump said in the Rose Garden. “Americans know the truth: Without police there is chaos, without law there is anarchy, and without safety there is catastrophe.”
Both the Republicans and Democrats are readying bills on police reforms. However, there is a distinct difference between what the parties believe to be the best way to effect change. It should be noted too that neither party has prepared a bill that would satisfy protesters, as neither goes far enough to “defund the police” (completely revamping police departments):
Central to the Republican package would be the creation of the national database to improve transparency so officers cannot transfer from one department to another without public oversight of their records. The Democrats have a similar provision.
Yet the Republican bill does not go as far as the Democrats do on the issue of eliminating qualified immunity, which would allow those injured by law enforcement personnel to sue for damages. The White House has said that is a step too far. As an alternative, Scott has suggested a “decertification” process for officers involved in misconduct.
One large police union, the influential Fraternal Order of Police, said in a statement it is working with Congress and the White House on the proposals, having provided “feedback” on the Democratic bill and “substantial input” on the emerging GOP package.