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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

145 N Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20530

May 2023 | Volume 16 | Issue 5

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing was established by Executive Order under then-President Barack Obama on December 18, 2014. Obama charged the task force with identifying best practices and offering recommendations on how policing practices can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust. Since the publication of the task force’s final report in May 2015, there have been more than 133 national, state, or local task forces, councils, and working groups responding to police violence in communities throughout the country. Following the beating death of Tyre Nichols by police in Memphis, Tennessee, in January, former task force co-chairs Laurie Robinson and Charles Ramsey convened former task force members to discuss the current crisis of confidence in policing.

Dr. Robinson explained, “All communities, including those communities that are often overpoliced, experience crime rates that undermine their trust in police. We cannot continue this cycle of fear that undermines our trust in law enforcement. We must be better to do better."

The report from that convening, A Renewed Call to Action by members of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, focuses on the culture of policing and accountability and the development of a whole-of-government/community approach to community safety. This publication contains eight recommendations that focus on accountability, transparency, culture, the development of national standards, and the important role of local government in developing a whole-of-government and whole-of-community approach to transformational policing:

  1. Establish a holistic role and mission of policing to help define community safety.
  2. Align policing leadership, organizational structure, incentives, and strategies to the redefined mission.
  3. Rebuild the culture of policing organizations.
  4. Establish national policing standards; train to those standards; and provide supervision to ensure their application.
  5. Address gaps in accountability systems that protect due process of officers while ensuring transparency and accountability for misconduct.
  6. Invest locally and organize communities to address unjust systems that contribute to poverty and racism.
  7. Address underlying drivers of crime.
  8. The Federal Government should collaborate and support community-based organizations and local and state government in helping to create safe communities as outlined in this call to action.

Each recommendation has a series of action steps that, when implemented, could better define community expectations and create accountability with police. Commissioner Ramsey called the recommendations and action steps “a blueprint for transformation that will change the way we protect our communities against violent crime and provide our communities the tools to restore trust.”

Be sure to read A Renewed Call to Action!

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