By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
In what the White House called a significant step towards enhancing police accountability and rebuilding trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris announced the establishment of the National Law Enforcement Accountability Database. The initiative marks the first-ever federal database designed to track official records of law enforcement officer misconduct.
“Every person in our nation has a right to be safe. And trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve is essential for public safety,” Harris asserted. “Police misconduct undermines that trust—and threatens the right to equal justice under law.” The database aims to provide federal agencies with readily accessible records of serious misconduct when hiring federal law enforcement officers. The White House said the move is part of a broader effort to strengthen the bonds of trust and accountability within law enforcement agencies nationwide. “Protecting public safety depends on trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” Biden remarked. “By building trust, we can strengthen public safety and more effectively fight crime in our communities.”
The initiative is an outgrowth of the Executive Order Biden signed in May 2022, focusing on police reform — the most significant in decades. The order mandated federal law enforcement agencies to ban chokeholds, strengthen use-of-force policies, and restrict no-knock warrants, among other critical reforms. “As part of my Administration’s executive order on policing, we committed to creating a first-of-its-kind database to track records of law enforcement misconduct so that agencies can hire the best personnel,” Biden affirmed. “I am fulfilling that promise by launching the National Law Enforcement Accountability Database.” The president and vice president stressed their dedication to advancing police accountability, renewing their call for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Harris, pivotal in authoring the act as a United States Senator, reiterated the administration’s commitment to fostering nationwide transparency and public trust in law enforcement. Biden also urged Congress to act swiftly. “I urge Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to advance accountability, transparency, and public trust in law enforcement across the nation,” Biden insisted. “Send it to my desk, and I will sign it.”