Washington, D.C. - Newly confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday that the federal government is shifting away from involvement in monitoring police departments defined in the past as "troubled."
According to The New York Times, this close scrutiny of "troubled" police departments across the country was a central focus of the Obama administration, in its effort to force what it deemed "responsibility" for racial tensions onto local departments.
In his first speech as the new Attorney General, Mr. Sessions did not name specific agencies but indicated that this scrutiny had undermined the effectiveness of police officers across the country to be able to do their jobs.
In a speech to the National Association of Attorney Generals, Mr. Sessions said “We need, so far as we can, in my view, help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness," and that he believed a reduction in effectiveness had already occurred.
He also stressed that the Trump administration was working from "a concern to make the lives of people in particularly the poor communities, minority communities, live a safer, happier life so that they’re able to have their children outside, and go to school in safety and they can go to the grocery store in safety, and not be accosted by drug dealers and get caught in crossfires or have their children seduced into some gang.”
Mr. Sessions was correct when he said, "where you see the greatest increase in violence and murders in cities is...(when) we undermine the respect for our police and made, oftentimes, their job more difficult,"
During the eight years of the previous administration, it was obvious that police officers' jobs were made more difficult, that they were less effective at doing their jobs, and that there was much less respect for police officers.
Before former President Obama left office, a deal was in the works for federal monitoring of the Chicago Police Department due to the out-of-control violence in the city. The DOJ also issued
It now sounds like those federal demands may be coming to an end.
Let the Chicago Police Department do its job, and let there be consequences for gun crimes and the violent crime rates will decrease.
Mr. Sessions has also promised, as has President Trump, increased aggressiveness against drugs and crime, and to leave civil rights issues to the states.
The change is welcome. Police Officers do not need their every move or decision questioned by the government. There are agency policies and procedures in place for that, as well as state and federal laws. There is a process for those who believe they have been wronged and that process works without federal interference. The separation of state and the government should continue to be restored.
The DOJ consent decrees focus heavily on countering racism when there is no actual reason to reasonably believe that "systemic" or "institutional" racism exists outside of the minds of anti-police activists. This becomes a real issues because the changes in the consent decrees create real issues, curtailing effective policing in order to fix a problem which doesn't exist.
Do you think that backing off federal demands will allow police officers to be more effective? Please let us know in the comments below.