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PUBLICATIONS

Law Enforcement

THE ISSUE. Our police play a critical role in government’s core function of protecting rights and keeping the peace. They are an integral part of our communities and our government at every level.  Ensuring they remain both a part of the community as well as fulfilling their role within the government is vital to both liberty and public safety.

THE ISSUES. The militarization of our police, whereby their outward appearance and display of weapons, uniforms, and equipment convey the image of a soldier at war rather than a keeper of the peace (and the accompanying preference for force over other options to solve problems) breaks the necessary bonds between the community and its police officers.  Federal incentives such as the 1033 program circumvent the normal appropriation of funding for this equipment, cutting out any involvement in managing acquisitions outside the police agency itself.

The use of civil asset forfeiture to supplement or meet budgeting requirements puts law enforcement in the position of revenue generation, with similar damage to the relationship between the police and their communities.

THE CONSERVATIVE SOLUTION.
– Increase community engagement in policy formation for their police departments, including the selection and deployment of equipment and uniforms. Require approval from the jurisdiction’s governing body before receiving grants and equipment from programs such as 1033 or federal grant funding.

– Establish hiring and training standard to ensure that each police officer is capable of the job the community expects him or her to perform.

– Engage lawmakers at all levels of government in considering the laws they put forth to be enforced by our police officers, with consideration for the impact enforcement will have on both safety and the relationship with the community.

– Establish proper methods of appropriating resources to our police forces commensurate with their importance as core functions of government to eliminate reliance on civil asset forfeiture in budgetary considerations.

Kentucky General Assembly Previews 2021 Criminal Justice Policy Priorities

Aubrey Vaughan Travis | July 13, 2020
While Kentucky’s legislature is not expected to reconvene until next year, interim committee meetings and preliminary discussions on draft legislation are ongoing. Last week, Senate President Robert Stivers announced…

On Mask Wearing, Don’t Use Law Enforcement As Hall Monitors

Michael Haugen | June 23, 2020
Faced with the inability to slap the wrists of citizen’s themselves for not wearing masks in public, local officials in Texas are beginning to resort to the next best…

Right on Crime Encouraged by President Trump’s First Step on Police Reform

Right on Crime | June 17, 2020
President Trump signed an executive order on safe policing, which seeks to address hot-button issues in police practice.

Police Use of Force: Foresight Over Hindsight

Michael Hughes | July 30, 2019
The use of force by police creates some of the widest chasms between officers and citizens. Training must build confidence and offer realistic scenarios. This approach sets up appropriate…

Is Pro-Liberty Really Anti-Police?

Randy Petersen | May 31, 2019
The Texas Public Policy Foundation worked hard this legislative session to limit the practice of making a custodial arrest (handcuffs and ride in a squad car) for offenses that…

Unions Alarmingly Misrepresent SB 815

Randy Petersen | May 23, 2019
When the legislature creates a criminal statute that is punishable by a fine alone, meaning that incarceration is not a potential consequence even if the offender is found guilty…

Why is it so Hard to Reform Criminal Justice?

Randy Petersen | May 10, 2019
Policing is a core function of government, one of its few necessary functions, but is also the most intrusive institution in all of government. A deliberate restraint on government’s…

Who Holds the Reins on Federal Law Enforcement?

Randy Petersen | February 27, 2019
Without much fanfare, the Government Accounting Office released information on Federal Law Enforcement Officers (FLEOs) within the government to “Congressional Requestors” on December 18thof 2018.  It did not receive much attention,…

A Tale of Two Suspects

Randy Petersen | February 21, 2019
An alleged hate crime involving an attack on Jussie Smollett quickly spiraled into charges against the complainant himself as Chicago Police uncovered evidence that his story was untrue.  Filing a false…

The FBI’s Misuse of Police Tactics in the Stone Arrest

Currie Myers | February 1, 2019
“The street was dark when the tactical response team, donning shoulder weapons, body armor and fatigues, began banging on the home’s entrance, yelling, “FBI! Open the door.” On January…

The Police Union

Randy Petersen | January 31, 2019
The police are an integral part of our communities, representing what many consider to be one of few legitimate roles of government: protecting rights and ensuring liberty through the…

Let’s Reconsider Traffic Enforcement

Randy Petersen | January 17, 2019
Traffic enforcement is a hoax.  There, I said it.  Well, maybe it is not a hoax—we do actually do it after all—but it is not what it appears to be.  It is a…
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