Washington, DC - All across the United States, our communities are seeing the real-life consequences of and feeling the immense pain caused by the recent surge in violent crime. More and more citizens in this country are justifiably living in fear, constantly wondering if they too will be victimized.
Simultaneously, as crime rates continue to rise, the violence directed at law enforcement officers is skyrocketing. I have worked in law enforcement for 36 years, and the current level of violence targeted at our law enforcement officers is the worst I have ever seen.
The alarming rise in violent crime and violence targeting law enforcement officers must be addressed now, not only at all levels of government but also by society, as we will all suffer the consequences if they go unaddressed.
The Fraternal Order of Police is committed to meaningful criminal justice reform, and we will keep working with our partners in Congress and the Administration to this end. It is imperative, however, that any reform proposal must have the safety of the public and the officers sworn to protect them as its top priority.
Every day, the brave men and women of law enforcement put themselves in harm’s way, keeping our streets, communities, and schools safe from crime. The FOP is confident that we can reform policing in the United States without sacrificing the tools our officers need to achieve their public safety mission or diminishing their rights as public servants.
Through good faith discussions with Members of Congress and the Administration, the FOP continues to make clear the vital need for criminal justice reform that would improve policing while preserving the protections so critically important to law enforcement officers on the street. Without national norms involving body-worn camera policies, due process rights for law enforcement officers, and other law enforcement issues across the country, we will have standards that are less uniform and reflect local political concerns instead of best police practices. As violent crime continues to surge and the recruitment and retainment of good officers drastically declines, public safety is put at a greater risk the longer we hesitate.
Now is the time for our elected officials at every level of government to recommit to community-oriented policing and providing public safety agencies with the resources they need to keep our communities safe from violence and crime. We need to find strategies that work to reduce crime and be prepared to reject policies which do not prioritize public safety. This is something that communities and the police who protect them must do together. Unless we help each other and come together, there will be more victims—more loved ones lost and more fallen officers. The FOP continues to send a clear message that we will maintain our efforts to work with anyone and everyone who is willing to commit to putting public safety first and working with us to restore the partnership between our communities and the officers that serve them.