On December 18, 2014, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The Task Force seeks to identify best practices and make recommendations to the President on how policing practices can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust and examine, among other issues, how to foster strong, collaborative relationships between local law enforcement and the communities they protect. The Task Force is directed to provide an initial report on recommendations to the President by March 2, 2015.
Click HERE to visit the Task Force website.
The Task Force co-chairs are Commissioner Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia Police Department, and Dr. Laurie Robinson, Professor, George Mason University. The Task Force members include: Cedric L. Alexander, Jose Lopez, Tracey L. Meares, Brittany N. Packnett, Susan Lee Rahr, Constance Rice, Sean Michael Smoot, Bryan Stevenson, and Roberto Villaseñor. Ron Davis, Director of the COPS Office, serves as Executive Director of the Task Force.
On May 18, 2015, the Task Force released its Final Report to the President. Importantly, the Task Force recommended that "some form of civilian oversight is important in order to strengthen trust with the community." (See Recommendation 2.8) This is the first time that the Federal government, or a commission or task force on its behalf, has specifically recommended civilian oversight. The Task Force also recommended two follow-up action items to expand the Federal government's research agenda to include civilian oversight and to expand the mandate of the U.S. Department of Justice's COPS Office to include civilian oversight. (See Action Items 2.8.1 and 2.8.2) Click HERE to read the report.
NACOLE and the President's Task Force
On December 30, 2015, NACOLE was invited to provide written testimony on the topic of building trust and legitimacy for consideration by the Task Force. The written testimony was prepared by NACOLE President Brian Buchner, past presidents Philip K. Eure, Kathryn Olson, and Ilana B.R. Rosenzweig, and current Board member Mark P. Smith. That testimony is below.
Subsequently, NACOLE President Brian Buchner was invited to testify before the Task Force on the topic of civilian oversight during its Policy and Oversight Listening Session in Cincinnati, Ohio, on January 30, 2015. His testimony is posted below. Or, click HERE to view a video recording of Mr. Buchner's testimony, as well as the entire civilian oversight panel, which included LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Darius Charney, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City.
Finally, NACOLE invited leaders in civilian oversight from across the nation to write letters in support of civilian oversight to append to its original written testimony. These letters are also below.
NACOLE Testimony and Related Letters of Support
- NACOLE written testimony on building trust and legitimacy through civilian oversight, submitted to the President's Task Force on January 10, 2015
- NACOLE President Brian Buchner's testimony to the President's Task Force, delivered on January 30, 2015
- Letter from Barbara Attard, NACOLE Past-President, San Francisco, California
- Letter from Judge LaDoris Cordell (ret.), Independent Police Auditor, San Jose, California
- Letter from Susan Hutson, Independent Police Monitor, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Letter from Sue Quinn, NACOLE Past-President, San Diego, California
- Testimony from Michael Gennaco that references NACOLE's written testimony