Making Their Case

Chuck Ramsey, commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Dept. and co-chair of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Chuck Ramsey, Philadelphia PD commissioner and co-chair of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Speaking in front of a presidential task force charged with improving law enforcement and community relationships, representatives from the nation’s largest police union and chiefs group cited a number of factors—including extreme poverty, untreated mental illness, and a lack of resources—as reasons for the public’s flagging  trust of law enforcement.

Richard Beary, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, testified in front of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing that the “heroic acts and great work being done on a daily basis by the law enforcement profession has been overshadowed” by the high-profile incidents like Ferguson.

“What isn’t talked about is that, for the most part, law enforcement officers have great relationships with their communities,” Beary said, according to USA Today. “What many don’t realize is that the majority of contact law enforcement has with citizens is non-violent and non-controversial. The recent incidents that have been the center of focus are not the norm.”

“What isn’t talked about is that, for the most part, law enforcement officers have great relationships with their communities,” Beary continued. “What many don’t realize is that the majority of contact law enforcement has with citizens is non-violent and non-controversial. The recent incidents that have been the center of focus are not the norm.”

The Task Force on 21st Century Policing—chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and former Justice Department official Laurie Robinson—was formed in the wake of persistent unrest linked to violent police tactics. Its members are scheduled to present recommendations for improving law enforcement and community relationships to President Obama by March 2.

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