Presidential Executive Order Regarding Police Accountability

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On the heels of Colorado’s Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity Act, President Trump signed an executive order also aimed at police integrity / accountability. The important provisions are as follows:

President Trump ordered the Department of Justice to tie discretionary grant funding to state and local law enforcement agencies that have accreditation or are seeking accreditation from a credentialing body certified by the US Attorney General. In order to be certified by the Attorney General, the credentialing body (like CALEA) can only certify agencies 1) that adopt use-of-force policies that comply with Federal, State, and local laws, and 2) that prohibit the use of chokeholds, except for deadly force.

The Attorney General will create a database for sharing information with state entities and will track uses of excessive force, terminations, de-certifications, convictions, and civil judgements against officers. The anonymized data will be made available to the public.

The Attorney General and Health and Human Services Department will identify opportunities to train law enforcement officers with respect to encounters with people suffering from mental health issues, homelessness, addiction, and similar societal problems.

The Attorney General will develop and propose new legislation to Congress to enhance law enforcement practices and community engagement. This will include ways to enhance current grant programs for the credentialing process, reporting procedures, adoption of scenario-based training for de-escalation techniques, retention of high performing officers and recruitment of quality candidates, mental health service for officers, and community engagement programs.

As the powers of the President are limited with respect to the authority that office has over the state and local officials, this executive order leverages grant money as the means of accomplishing the stated goals.

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