The Business Roundtable writes,
Business Roundtable Police Reform Principles
No effort to address policing issues will succeed without strong partnership and trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, including neighborhood and civil rights groups, schools, religious leaders, social workers and mental health professionals, local employers and others. Business Roundtable applauds bipartisan support for more investment in programs to promote community policing and increase police force diversity and community representation. Business Roundtable members further commit to working with community groups to uplift underserved populations.
Data Collection and Transparency
Transparency is a core democratic value. It is essential not only to better protect our citizens, but also to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Better data on law enforcement officer misconduct will improve departments’ hiring decisions, hold departments accountable, inform solutions, and enable better targeting of resources. To obtain federal funding, police departments should be required to collect, maintain and report data, including on detentions and use of force, as well as demographic information about arrests and detainees.
The vast majority of police officers are dedicated public servants who pursue their work with courage and decency. For police officers who abuse their positions, or departments that allow abusive behavior, accountability is critical.
Business Roundtable supports the establishment of a National Police Misconduct Registry to maintain disciplinary records of officers, which will inform hiring decisions and promote public accountability. Data aggregated at the department level should also be made available to the public.
Further, the Department of Justice should establish minimum decertification standards to guide misconduct investigations, which should be carried to completion, whether or not an officer leaves the force, with findings of misconduct entered permanently on an officer’s record and available in a National Police Misconduct Registry.
To foster accountability at the department level, Business Roundtable supports grants to states to conduct pattern or practice investigations. Experience with Department of Justice investigations into actions involving a pattern or practice of conduct that violates individuals’ civil rights has shown that these types of investigations can lead to the adoption of new and constructive policies and procedures at the department level. 1
Minimum National Policing Standards
While principal responsibility for policing should remain at the state and local level, the continued crisis of excessive use of force, the loss of Black lives and the related loss of trust in law enforcement across many communities of color necessitates federal minimum standards for policing that are readily understood by the American public and tied to eligibility for federal grants. These standards should include a minimum national standard on use of lethal and non-lethal force; bans on chokeholds and carotid holds, except when deadly force is warranted; a duty to intervene; a ban on racial profiling; and a Department of Justice review and establishment of minimum credentialing and accreditation standards and procedures for officers.
Business Roundtable also urges policymakers to raise the standard for use of no-knock warrants and to require police departments to collect and report data around their use, including demographic information about the subjects, injuries, fatalities and whether use of the warrant produced admissible evidence of criminal activity.
Business Roundtable supports federal investments in more robust training programs, including on alternatives to use of force, de-escalation and crisis intervention, mitigation of implicit racial bias, and methods to intervene to prevent another officer’s excessive use of force. Business Roundtable also supports vital investments in training to allow officers to better respond to mental health and addiction – an under-resourced area – including through co-response with social workers and mental health experts. Federally-supported training programs should be rigorously studied to ensure their effectiveness. Business Roundtable welcomes the opportunity to assist police departments in developing sound, data-driven training.
There are a number of other issues likely to be addressed as part of the final negotiations, including compensation or restitution for victims. Business Roundtable would welcome the opportunity to play a constructive role on any issue. To achieve meaningful reform that fosters trust between police departments and the communities they serve, Business Roundtable urges Members of Congress to come together and enact legislation before Congress’s August recess.