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From the Co-Chairs
We wish to thank President Barack Obama for giving us the honor and privilege of leading the Task
Force on 21st Century Policing. The task force was created to strengthen community policing and trust
among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve, especially in light of recent events
around the country that have underscored the need for and importance of lasting collaborative
relationships between local police and the public. We found engaging with law enforcement officials,
technical advisors, youth and community leaders, and nongovernmental organizations through a
transparent public process to be both enlightening and rewarding, and we again thank him for this
Given the urgency of these issues, the President gave the task force an initial 90 days to identify best
practices and offer recommendations on how policing practices can promote effective crime reduction
while building public trust. In this short period, the task force conducted seven public listening sessions
across the country and received testimony and recommendations from a wide range of community
and faith leaders, law enforcement officers, academics, and others to ensure these recommendations
would be informed by a diverse range of voices.
Trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential in a
democracy. It is key to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system,
and the safe and effective delivery of policing services.
In light of the recent events that have exposed rifts in the relationships between local police and the
communities they protect and serve, on December 18, 2014, President Barack Obama signed an
Executive Order establishing the Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
In establishing the task force, the President spoke of the distrust that exists between too many police
departments and too many communities—the sense that in a country where our basic principle is
equality under the law, too many individuals, particularly young people of color, do not feel as if they
are being treated fairly.
Procedurally just behavior is based on four central principles:
1. Treating people with dignity and respect
2. G iving individuals ‘ voice ’ during encounters
3. B eing neutral and transparent in decision making
4. Conveying trustworthy motives
April 08, 2015
In August of 2014, military helicopters flew low over residential neighborhoods of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, engaged in a series of night-time training exercises. The exercises involved the Naval Warfare Development Group - a "special forces" component of the U.S. Navy - and were aimed at enhancing urban combat tactics.
Just as they had two years earlier, military personnel had come to the Twin Cities to conduct counter-terrorism training operations in an urban environment. And just as before, those operations commenced with little advance notice to the public.
Closer military-police collaboration?
While much about the 2014 exercise appears to have paralleled its 2012 predecessor, MPD documents indicate that there were some notable - and perhaps significant - changes to the training regime.
Documents obtained by PRM in 2012 suggested that the Navy's training operation was - at the time - undertaken for the purpose of preparing special operations forces for foreign deployment. However, records relating to the 2014 exercise include hints that some aspects of that training may have had a domestic focus.
According to an e-mail from an anonymous federal official, "There is a significant change in our ‘template’ since the August 2012 exercise," and as such "we are under new DOD regulatory guidance for this type of training."
Do the references to "evidence collection" by Navy personnel indicate that the military is actively preparing to undertake such operations on the domestic front? Or do the references point to some other function?
The Baltimore Police Department has used an invasive and controversial cellphone tracking device thousands of times in recent years while following instructions from the FBI to withhold information about it from prosecutors and judges, a detective revealed in court testimony Wednesday.
The testimony shows for the first time how frequently city police are using a cell site simulator, more commonly known as a "stingray," a technology that authorities have gone to great lengths to avoid disclosing.
The device mimics a cellphone tower to force phones within its range to connect. Police use it to track down stolen phones or find people.