The federal government must increase its financial support of local police departments for hiring and training officers, providing equipment, and
improving practices. That is one of many recommendations by the U.S. Conference of Mayors to President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing on how to improve community policing. The mayors presented their report last week to task force co-chairs Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Laurie Robinson, former Assistant Attorney General. It was based on a review started after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., of best policing practices nationwide.
The report covers six main topics: Building police-community trust; improving officer recruitment, training and supervision; assuring timely and accurate communications, including social media; conducting independent investigations to increase public confidence; addressing racial and economic disparities, and providing national leadership. Gary, In., Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, head of the group making the proposals, said that, “There ought to be full confidence with the public in our law enforcement.” The mayors released a new survey showing that on a scale of 1 to 5, with five being the highest level of “trust,” 54 percent of Americans gave police a “trust” score of 4 or 5, while only 19 percent gave a 1 or 2.