On December 18, 2014, President Obama signed an executive order creating the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. In May 2015, the task force came out with its Final Report, which is commonly given the title “21st Century Policing.”
One of the report’s recommendations, which the Obama-friendly media fixated on, concerns greater restrictions on transfers of military equipment to local police agencies. However, as we reported in a related article (“What’s Happening to Our Police?“), the new “accountability” rules will not explicitly reduce the flow of war materials to law enforcement, but simply place more federal controls over local police. Moreover, the new Obama rules regarding military gear were just one component of a broader set of recommendations issued by Obama’s plan for “21st Century Policing” — the overarching theme of which was promoting increased federal control over law enforcement.
While speaking to a group of police at a carefully stage-managed event in Camden, New Jersey, the president also touted some of his other efforts to exert more control over police — officers who, in accordance with the Constitution, are supposed to serve and be accountable to local communities and the wishes of local citizens, not the mandates of the White House. Among other schemes, Obama boasted of his administration’s alleged efforts to “fight crime,” improve relations between police departments and the communities they serve, and promote “transparency.” He also touted a White House “data initiative” aimed at prodding police departments into following federal “guidelines” on data and body cameras.
Finally, Obama also celebrated federal “grants” created by the administration to promote and fund the implementation of dubious policies associated with “community policing strategies.” Those federal grants, of course, along with others, are at the heart of Obama’s efforts to nationalize everything from healthcare and education standards to law enforcement. Among the schemes to be promoted with the new grants are national standards for police departments receiving federal funds. Some critics have started describing the plot as “Common Core for police,” a reference to the Obama administration’s Department of Education efforts to bribe states into imposing the deeply controversial national K-12 school standards and the associated federal testing regime. The effort also comes just a few months after United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, citing Ferguson, demanded that American police submit to “international standards.”
According to a report by Obama’s task force released in March, two tentacles of the Department of Justice, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Office of Justice Programs, “should provide technical assistance and incentive funding to jurisdictions” that adhere to the White House plan, “in return for receiving federal funds.” The report also called for uniform federal standards for data collected by local police departments, and much more.
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