(ANTIMEDIA) A day after President Trump signed into law three executive orders to combat what he called “the menace of rising crime” — including one designed to protect police — a group of law enforcement professionals published a report on Friday urging the newly elected U.S. leader to rethink his crime-fighting strategy.
The report, co-authored by dozens of members of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration — a group consisting of over 200 professionals from both police departments and prosecutors’ offices — warned Trump not to “repeat the mistake” of introducing policies that rely on harsh prison sentences.
“Decades of experience have convinced us of a sobering reality: today’s crime policies, which too often rely only on jail and prison, are simply ineffective in preserving public safety,” the group said in the report.
On Thursday, President Trump signed three executive orders into law designed, he said, “to restore safety in America” and “break the back of the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation and are destroying the blood of our youth.”
“A new era of justice begins and it begins right now,” the president claimed.
Trump, a staunch supporter of police who campaigned for the presidency on slogans such as “Blue Lives Matter,” has long stated he wants to increase protection for the nation’s law enforcement officers. And as it happens, the text in the orders signed Thursday does just that.
Under Trump’s new mandates, the United States Attorney General will be instructed to “review existing Federal laws to determine whether those laws are adequate to address the protection and safety of Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.”
And the man who’ll be reviewing those laws will be Jeff Sessions, Trump’s choice for attorney general — who, as it happens, was being sworn in at the same time the president was unveiling his new orders.
While speaking to the press after the ceremony, Sessions echoed his leader’s sentiment.
“We have a crime problem. I wish the rise that we’re seeing in crime in America today was some sort of aberration or blip,” he said, but unfortunately, he views it “dangerous permanent trend.”
Hailing both the confirmation of Sessions and the signing of the executive orders, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer seemed particularly pleased with wording in one of the orders that directed the Department of Justice to, as he says, “develop a strategy for those who commit violence against law enforcement.”
This type of strategy is the wrong move, according to Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, an organization that feels resources would be much better spent on community policing practices that could bridge the gap between police and the residents they’ve sworn to protect.
The group is urging the president and his new team to focus their efforts on reducing the U.S. prison population, as less money spent on incarceration means more money allocated to what should be the true goal of policing — the safety of the community:
“The more dollars these prisons require, the less available to allocate to federal law enforcement in our fight to secure public safety.”