Two days before the Parkland, Fl., school shooting, the Office of Management and Budget asked Congress to shut down a $50 million federal program funding research on school safety. Criminologists warn ending the program would “detract from efforts to reduce/avoid future school shootings and violence.”
The independent Community Oriented Policing Services office, created in 1994 to assist local law enforcement, may be folded inside a DOJ division as part of a White House efficiency drive. In a letter supported by major police groups, 135 Congress members said the move could threaten communities “struggling” to pay for public safety.
The Attorney General tells a news conference that “effective enforcement” should be a priority for new legislation. He also announced a new DEA Division for the Appalachian region, and the appointment of Kellyanne Conway, one of President Trump’s top advisers, to oversee White House initiatives to combat opioid abuse.
Pennsylvania corrections chief John Wetzel launched the two-day Washington meeting with an appeal to legislators, corrections administrators, police chiefs and health officials to work together on evidence-based solutions. Another speaker said the White House would back unspecified reforms.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he didn’t want to make promises he couldn’t keep to police chiefs at a time of proposed cuts to the Justice Department budget. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson sought more federal prosecutions of gun crimes.
New Attorney General Jeff Sessions “appears preoccupied by violent crime, drugs and immigration,” says the Associated Press. Now that he has recused himself from any cases involving last year’s election, he can focus on those goals.
The Deaths in Custody Reporting Act, a 2014 federal law, requires police departments to disclose details to the government about custodial deaths. But critics say the plan to implement the law has “cavernous” loopholes.
Is the centuries-old practice of seizing property allegedly connected with a crime headed for a major shakeup in the U.S. this year? Reform advocates on the left and right were encouraged by the temporary suspension last month of payments to local law enforcement agencies that participate in the federal asset forfeiture program. But the reformers, who range from conservatives and libertarians to civil rights groups and human rights advocates, want the government to go a lot further in 2016 — […]