WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump today signed an executive order on police reform, “Implementing Best Practices in Law Enforcement Agencies.” Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James and Heritage’s John Malcolm offered the following responses.
“At a time when our country needs leadership, the Trump administration has provided a positive step forward with this executive order,” said Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James. “The Heritage Foundation has long recognized that police and criminal justice reform are necessary elements in making sure that every community is safe and every citizen is able to prosper in peace.
“While most reforms must happen at the local and state levels where communities are more closely connected to their leaders, this message from the White House is welcome guidance,” James added. “We look forward to our continued work with the federal, state, and local government to enact policies that keep citizens safe and that build trust between law and enforcement and the communities they serve.”
John Malcolm, vice president of Heritage’s Institute for Constitutional Government and director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, said, “While policing is essentially a local issue, it has burst into the national conversation over the last few years and especially during these last few painful weeks.
“President Trump’s executive order is a definite step in the right direction and builds on steps the administration has already taken to bring local law enforcement agencies from across the country together to share best practices for community safety, professional standards, and de-escalation,” Malcolm said. “This is a matter that will take serious long term work at every level of government and with law enforcement and community building experts across the country, so it is encouraging that the White House has continued to give this issue the attention it deserves.”
The Heritage Foundation has published two special reports on policing in America and last year hosted a policing strategy summit.