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.

Police-Collected Fines, Fees And Forfeitures: How Does Your City Rank?

Chuck DeVore | November 2, 2016
This commentary originally appeared in Forbes on October 26, 2016. “And we was fined fifty dollars and had to pick up the garbage… in the snow.” Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s…

New Police Foundation Report: Foot Patrol Improves Community Relations, Problem-Solving Capabilities

Randy Petersen | September 19, 2016
Discussion of foot patrol in modern policing may generate images of the beat officer walking the business district or neighborhood, stopping to talk with shop owners and homeowners, and…

Watchmen or Warfighters? A Conservative Proposal for Limiting Military-Grade Weapons Sent to States

Right on Crime | August 31, 2016
In this new report for the Center for Effective Justice, Derek Cohen, Greg Glod, and Michael Haugen examine the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, which provides surplus military equipment—including weaponry—to…

Black Lives Matter—And So Does Black Liberty

Right on Crime | July 27, 2016
The following remarks are from a speech former Texas Governor and Right on Crime signatory Rick Perry delivered on July 27th at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual meeting.…

Utah v. Strieff Doesn’t Give Cops License to Kill the Fourth

Greg Glod | July 25, 2016
This commentary originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on July 25th, 2016. “This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for…

Right on Crime Statement on Law Enforcement and GOP Embrace of Conservative Criminal Justice Reform

Marc Levin | July 19, 2016
As the nation’s leading conservative criminal justice reform organization, Right on Crime wishes to extend its condolences to all those affected by anti-police violence.  Violence against law enforcement officials…

Deputy Director Derek Cohen: Transparency Needed During SWAT Deployments

Right on Crime | January 28, 2016
This week at the Austin City Council, Right on Crime’s Derek Cohen spoke to the Public Safety Committee about having more transparency when Austin SWAT teams are utilized in…

On Cato Podcast, Cohen Highlights Concerns About Influence of Police Unions

Michael Haugen | November 20, 2015
In yesterday’s Daily Podcast, Caleb Brown of the Cato Institute featured Right on Crime Deputy Director Derek Cohen for a discussion about the influence of police unions, including their…

A ‘Weaponized’ Justice Department Demonstrates Need For Mens Rea Reform

Michael Haugen | November 3, 2015
Last Friday, Ilya Shapiro and Randal John Meyer of the Cato Institute published an article at National Review—“Obama’s Weaponized Justice Department”–highlighting an increasing tendency of the department under the…

Policy Director Marc Levin Joins Panel Highlighting Missouri Criminal Justice System

Michael Haugen | November 2, 2015
At 7 PM Central this evening, Right on Crime Policy Director Marc Levin will be joining a distinguished panel to discuss Missouri’s criminal justice system. Titled “The State of…

With Gov. Snyder’s Signature, Forfeiture Reform Comes to the Wolverine State

Michael Haugen | October 21, 2015
An important first step in providing Michigan citizens increased property protections was accomplished yesterday afternoon, as Gov. Rick Snyder signed a package of civil asset forfeiture reform bills into…

What Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Said About Criminal Justice Reform at the First Debate

Right on Crime | October 15, 2015
The first debate in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary took place last week at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Five candidates—former Senator Jim Webb, current Vermont Senator…
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