Call it Common Core for police. But the White House, in cahoots with the Department of Justice, has set in motion a plan that will expand federal control of community police forces, via standards handed from above called the “Task Force on 21st Century Policing.”
The plan was released Monday, Infowars reported. And its gist? Like Common Core, the education plan criticized by opponents as little more than a federal mandate that’s tied to funding, the just-released police plan would force local law enforcement agencies to follow federally set standards in return for receiving federal tax dollars.
“The U.S. Department of Justice, through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services [COPS] and Office of Justice Programs, should provide technical assistance and incentive funding to jurisdictions with small police agencies that take steps towards shared services, regional training and consolidation,” one of the plan’s points stated.
The proposal also advocates for the federal collection of more data from local police.
“There is a lack of uniformity in data collection throughout law enforcement, and only patchwork methods of near real-time information sharing exist,” the plan stated, in the “national standards” section, Infowars found. “These problems are especially critical in light of the threats from terrorism and cybercrime.”
President Obama said he hoped to soon implement the plan among the nation’s 18,000 or so law enforcement jurisdictions.
“I’m going to be asking Eric Holder and the Justice Department and his successor to go through all these recommendations so that we can start implementing them,” Obama said, according to Infowars. “I know that one area that’s going to be of great interest is whether we can expand the COPS program that in the past has been very effective, continues to be effective, but is largely underfunded – to see if we can get more incentives for local communities to apply some of the best practices and lessons that are embodied in this report.”
The release of the recommendations isn’t a surprise. Last December, facing concerted pressure from civil rights activists who were angered by police shootings they deemed racist – specifically, officer Darren Wilson’s killing of black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Ohio – Obama told his Justice Department to start creating plans for federal oversight of local police.
Then, he mostly said he wanted to curtail police use of military-type equipment. But he also proposed $263 million to boost the COPS program, and another $75 million to buy 50,000 body cameras for officers, various media reported.
Obama said this week that the work to enact tighter standards “is going to involve local police chiefs, local elected officials, states recognizing that the moment is now for us to make these changes,” Infowars said.