An upcoming executive order on policing will create new incentives for “best practices” in police departments, senior administration officials said on Monday.
The order, which is set to be unveiled on Tuesday, will create a nationwide certification process for police departments and rely on incentives to steer local forces towards federal guidelines, including on use of force standards that prohibit chokeholds outside of situations where deadly force is allowed.
During a call with reporters, one senior administration official said the team worked closely with “law enforcement professionals and their representatives, as well as with families and people who are killed by law enforcement and, and also their representatives" to craft the document.
“The goal of this is to bring police closer together with the communities,” the official said. “We're not looking to defund the police, we're looking to invest more and incentivize best practices.”
The official said the executive order has three main components, focusing on new, national credentialing and certification for officers and departments, “information sharing” on excessive use of force complaints against officers, and incentivizing a “co-responder program” to deal with issues like mental health and homelessness.
But there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of federal mandates. Asked how the Department of Justice would enforce the components of the order, the official answered that “a lot of the law enforcement is local.”
The order won’t mandate that federal funding be tied to meeting those best practices, another official said later, but it will make departments more “competitive” for federal grants if they meet those standards.
“It’s creating the ecosystem that rewards good behavior. One of those good behaviors, if I'm applying for federal grants, maybe you want to look at an accreditation that makes you more competitive," the official said.
US President Donald Trump has yet to comprehensively address issues of police reform or even acknowledge systemic racism in America and has not been heavily involved in drafting the executive order. Instead, the President has directed his energy on delivering a tough-talking law-and-order message and falsely portraying peaceful protesters as mostly violent.