The leader of the nation’s largest law enforcement union has a plan for how to repair the sinking reputation of police officers and departments across the country.
The deaths of black men in New York, South Carolina, and Baltimore has led the Fraternal Order of Police executive director, Jim Pasco, to develop a strategy to renew the image of the police in the face of controversy, Politico reported.
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While there is a call for reform from lawmakers, Pasco first wants Congress to form a commission for the purpose of investigating the alleged problem and propose recommendations.
By using his relationships with those in Congress, the Justice Department and the White House, Pasco thinks he can get the variety of “pattern and practices” investigations off the table now in exchange for one comprehensive study.
But there are skeptics in the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and among libertarian Republicans, who want to see immediate action.
“There are many throughout the country who’ve run out of patience with conversations and commissions,” said Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, a member of the CBC. “The Congressional Black Caucus is committed in my view to get something done with the fierce urgency of now.”
On the agenda for Pasco is stopping a bill that is aimed at restricting the amount of military-type weapons and supplies available to police departments and stopping investigations by the Justice Department.
In addition, he wants data that is gathered on police shootings to also include info on attacks made against police officers, and he wants any reforms to be made through a successor to the Kerner Commission, which was established following riots in the late 1960s.
While Pasco benefits from deep connections with lawmakers in both parties and has been through crisis in the past, there have also been issues with him reportedly playing both sides, as well as talk of apparent conflicts of interest.
However, Robert Driscoll, deputy assistant attorney general to President George W. Bush, says that Pasco also knows that he needs to be careful not to burn bridges.
“Jim’s a great strategist, and he takes a long view, and he knows he’s in this for the long run,” Driscoll said. “So he doesn’t blow up relationships based on the issue of the day.”