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.

– 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.

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…

No Need to Wait, Law Enforcement Already Supports First Step Act

Randy Petersen | December 7, 2018
The First Step Act is coming up against the clock.  For everyone observing its evolution into the largest criminal justice reform package in a generation and its growing bipartisan…

“Just Do Your Job” Means Something Different for Police Officers

Randy Petersen | November 9, 2018
Sergeant Ron Helus arrived at the scene of an active shooter in Thousand Oaks, California within three minutes of receiving calls for help and did what he was trained…

Police Unions and Police Are Often At Odds, On Politics and On Other Issues

Right on Crime | November 6, 2018
This commentary, written by Right on Crime signatory Bernard Kerik, originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on Nov. 6, 2018.   It’s hard to find a more awkward relationship between…

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program promotes safety

Currie Myers | May 21, 2018
Ask any sheriff about the issues associated with jail management and you’ll learn about four major issues: safety of the facility, special needs housing, rising costs of psychotropic medicines,…

Not everyone gets to be a police officer

Randy Petersen | May 16, 2018
This article by Randy Petersen originally appeared in the Austin American-Statesman May 16th, 2018. There were some startling accusations about the Austin Police Academy in a recent article. The…

Police training is tough for a reason

Randy Petersen | May 9, 2018
The Austin Police Academy was recently accused of being too aggressive in its training tactics with new recruits.  Several allegations were made by cadets who were unable to complete…

People complaining about police in Parkland need to celebrate the hero cops in Austin

Randy Petersen | March 29, 2018
This article by Randy Petersen was originally published by the Daily Caller March 29th, 2018. If the shooting in Parkland, Florida was a call for us to consider the sometimes…

Our police need better training. Florida school shooting failures make this more imperative.

Randy Petersen | March 13, 2018
This article by Randy Petersen originally appeared in Fox News March 13th, 2018. The 24-hour news cycle provides no shortage of incidents that illustrate the need for police reforms…

Taking a serious look at conservative policing reform

Randy Petersen | February 26, 2018
This article by Randy Petersen originally appeared in The Hill February 23rd, 2018. The modern flashpoint of police and community tensions might have been Ferguson, and a cluster of…
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