An important step forward
By Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
In signing an executive order on policing today—Safe Policing for Safe Communities—President Trump said that “reducing crime and raising standards are not opposite goals.”
This is an important step forward.
If done right, new policies now under consideration at the local, state and federal levels should be designed to bring transparency, accountability and ensure the highest attainable law enforcement standards in order to build safer communities.
Better training including violence de-escalation best practices will likely reduce injury and death.
Independent credentialing bodies and a data base to track and remove officers with bad records will help mitigate violence.
The murder of George Floyd while in custody by a Minneapolis police officer demands justice—and an absolute recommitment by law enforcement and policymakers to always ensure that any person taken into custody is treated with respect, nonviolence and professionalism.
It has also inspired this fresh and transformative look at crime and policing.
I watched the video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of Mr. Floyd who pleaded “I can’t breathe” with horror and disbelief.
Chauvin not only betrayed his solemn duty to serve and protect but he betrayed, as well, police officers throughout the nation who serve with honor and valor and make enormous sacrifices to protect the innocent and enforce the law.