Dear Attorney General Barr,
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the most prominent law enforcement organizations in the United States, applaud you and the United States Department of Justice for working to quickly implement President Trump’s Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities.
The profession of law enforcement recognizes that no single factor is more crucial to reducing crime levels than the partnership between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. In order to be truly effective, police agencies cannot operate alone; they must have the active support and assistance of citizens and communities.
That is why the policing profession continually strives to earn and gain the trust of our communities through transparency, the principles of procedural justice, and holding ourselves and our officers accountable for their actions. The implementation of this executive order is a great first step in helping police continue to enhance community engagement efforts.
President Trump’s Executive Order ensures that, in order to receive federal funding, law enforcement agencies must seek certification from an independent credentialing body on important aspects of safe policing, such as training and policies on de-escalation, duty to intervene, rendering medical care, and use of force are all positive steps forward.
While we strongly support legislative action on police reform, the FOP and the IACP, do have significant concerns with any statute or proposed legislation at the local, State or Federal level that creates an unachievable standard for use of deadly force or which conflicts with the established standard of “objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances,” established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor.
If laws at variance with this standard are enacted at the local, State or Federal level, we would urge you to revise this guidance as appropriate and necessary to protect and uphold this constitutional standard.
On behalf of the FOP and the IACP, thank you again for working with us on this important issue. We look forward to continuing to work together on issues of importance to the policing profession.
Patrick Yoes Chief Steven R. Casstevens
National President,Fraternal Order of Police President, IACP