LOS ANGELES (CNS)—Three powerful California police unions—including the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL)—unveiled a national reform agenda on June 14 intended to improve the relationship between police officers and the communities they serve.
The LAPPL, the San Francisco Police Officers Association, and the San Jose Police Officers Association took out full-page ads in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Washington Post to announce the new agenda.
“No words can convey our collective disgust and sorrow for the murder of George Floyd,” the ad begins. “We have an obligation as a profession and as human beings to express our sorrow by taking action.”
The unions’ proposed guidelines include:
—A national use-of-force standard that emphasizes a reverence for life, de-escalation, a duty to intercede, proportional responses to dangerous incidents, and strong accountability provisions mirrored after the Los Angeles Police Department;
—A national database of former police officers fired for gross misconduct that prevents other agencies from hiring them;
—An early warning system to identify officers who may need more training and mentoring modeled after the San Francisco Police Department;
—Ongoing and frequent training of police to build and refresh their skills similar to California’s SB230 (Senate Bill 230), which requires each law enforcement agency to maintain a policy that provides guidelines on the use of force;
—Mandate a transparent publicly accessible use-of-force analysis website similar to the San Jose Police Department’s.
Accompanying the agenda is a joint statement by the three unions acknowledging racist police officers in their midst, and their commitment to root those individuals out of the profession.
“Police officers come from and reflect our communities. Unfortunately, there is racism in our communities and that means across our country that there are some racist police officers,” the statement reads. “Police unions must root out racism wherever it rears its ugly head and root out any racist individual from our profession.
“There are also some people who don’t possess the temperament to be members of law enforcement and we must also confront and address the damage these individuals cause to the level of community trust we strive to maintain.
“Our unions are committed to the continuous improvement of policing in America. We believe that each of our departments has made tremendous strides in strengthening accountability, transparency and adopting policies that reduce the number and severity of uses-of-force. However, we can do more, and we believe this agenda should be adopted across our nation as an important step toward improving police and community outcomes.”