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Tag: reforms

AG Jeff Sessions Warns against ‘Harmful Federal Intrusion’ of Local Police

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Attorney General Jeff Sessions
USA Today

Violent crime is surging in American cities. To combat this wave of violence and protect our communities, we need proactive policing. Yet in some cities, such policing is diminishing — with predictably dire results.

In Chicago, arrests have fallen 36% since 2014 to the lowest level in at least 16 years. Last year, they fell in every major crime category, and they fell in every single district in the city. To put that in perspective, out of more than 500 non-fatal shootings in early 2016, only seven resulted in any sort of arrest. That’s 1%. Not surprisingly, as arrest rates plummeted in those years, the murder rate nearly doubled. Meanwhile in Baltimore, while arrests have fallen 45% in the past two years, homicides have risen 78%, and shootings have more than doubled.

Yet amid this plague of violence, too much focus has been placed on a small number of police who are bad actors rather than on criminals. And too many people believe the solution is to impose consent decrees that discourage the proactive policing that keeps our cities safe.

The Department of Justice agrees with the need to rebuild public confidence in law enforcement through common-sense reforms, such as de-escalation training, and we will punish any police conduct that violates civil rights. But such reforms must promote public safety and avoid harmful federal intrusion in the daily work of local police.

To read more click here.

House Passes Bill to Reform Beleaguered Secret Service with More Oversight, Agents

US CapitolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House approved legislation Monday aimed at reforming the beleaguered Secret Service, which has been beset by lax security, poor management and scandals.

The House passed the Secret Service Improvement Act by a 375-16 vote and gained almost universal support from both parties, the Washington Examiner reports. 

The bill calls for more oversight, more training and reforms to the agency’s vulnerabilities.

The Secret Service also will be able to hire at least 80 new agents and 200 additional division officers.

One big change under the bill: The senate must approve the Secret Service director, who previously was appointed exclusively by the president.

“The person entrusted to not only protect the president, but to also head a $1.5 billion federal law enforcement agency, should be subject to the same process of advice and consent of the Senate as his counterparts at other comparable agencies,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who authored the bill.

Washington Post: Reforms Could Usher in Accountability for Border Patrol

By Washington Post
Editorial Board

Few federal government agencies have grown as quickly as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes the 21,000 agents, double the number in 2004, who patrol the nation’s frontiers with Mexico and Canada. That growth has been accompanied by an alarming number of incidents involving the use of lethal force, particularly along the Mexican border and all too frequently under circumstances that suggest the agency is indifferent or hostile to the most basic standards of restraint, transparency and self-policing.

Reports by news organizations and independent experts — including one report that was suppressed by Customs and Border Protection for more than a year — have finally prompted the agency to address its problems with accountability. The agency’s new commissioner, R. Gil Kerlikowske, a former police chief in Seattle and Buffalo, has proposed serious reforms.

The question now is whether an organization that badly needs change, and the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents some 17,000 agents in the field, will be receptive to reform.

Mr. Kerlikowske’s ideas for revamping the agency’s policies and culture are far-ranging. Soon after taking office in March, he initiated a review of hundreds of incidents since 2009 involving agents’ alleged misconduct and use of deadly force; 155 such incidents remain under review.

To read more click here.

Homeland Security Wastes Up to $49 Million Annually on Vehicles It Underuses

The Department of Homeland Security spent up to $49 million on vehicles that were underused, according to a new report from the agency’s inspector general, according to Government Executive.

The audit by the DHS inspector general found that the agency lacks a system to properly maintain and track a fleet to avoid wasting money.

According to the report, Homeland Security has 56,000 automobiles, costing $534 million a year. That is the second largest fleet in the federal government.

The IG’s suggested the agency install a “single, central system of record” for the fleet.

DHS management agreed and pledged to implement the reforms by 2015.

OIG Report: Border Patrol Lacks Proper Training, Reporting on Use of Force

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new report suggests reforms at Border Patrol are needed to prevent excessive use of force, NBC Latino reports.

Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General generated the report at the request of Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, and 15 members of Congress following media reports of an undocumented immigrant who died in CBP custody.

The report recommends that Border Patrol train agents to use less-lethal tactics for handling suspects. It also recommends working on some of the reforms with ICE.