In December of 2014, President Obama commissioned the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. This Task Force was chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and was comprised of law enforcement professionals, community and youth leaders, and academics. The President’s Task Force sought to identify best practices in policing and provide guidance on how to promote effective crime control while focusing on building public trust in the police. The Task Force released a comprehensive report in 2015, presenting six main topic areas or ‘pillars’ for law enforcement agencies to focus on: Building Trust and Legitimacy, Policy and Oversight, Technology and Social Media, Community Policing and Crime Reduction, Officer Training and Education, and Officer Safety and Wellness. Within each Pillar’s subsection of the report, the Task Force made numerous recommendations for law enforcement agencies to adopt. Use of force, de-escalation strategies, community policing, and partnership building were major areas of concentration in the report. The Task Force report became a significant topic of conversation within the law enforcement profession immediately upon its release.
As an agency, we took an in-depth look at the report and all the recommendations made under each pillar. A comprehensive report on Hanover Park PD’s compliance with the Task Force Report was completed and disseminated in June of 2016. We found that most of the recommendations made were things we had already done or were in the process of doing. While the report is now several years old, we consider it to still be an excellent guiding document for managing a police agency in the United States. The Hanover Park compliance report was unique, and we are proud to say we were one of the first agencies to undertake this. The report itself has been shared with police agencies in several states, and Deputy Chief Johnson, who compiled the report, was a guest blogger on the International Association of Chiefs of Police Social Media Beat blog, discussing how the department analyzed and implemented the Task Force Report’s recommendations. The report can be viewed here.