On May 25, President Joe Biden released the Executive Order on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety. The order promotes “accountability, transparency, and the principles of equality and dignity in policing and the larger criminal justice system.”
The executive order on police reform addresses topics such as law enforcement agency use of military equipment, response to people in crisis, chokeholds, facial recognition technology, bias-based policing and even officer wellness. But the order’s scope is narrow in that it only applies to federal law enforcement agencies. Many commentators see the executive order as an acknowledgment that bipartisan federal police reform legislation is unlikely to pass under the current administration.
Lexipol’s policies already support the overall intent and purpose of the executive order, addressing many of the standards in detail.
Although state and local law enforcement agencies do not have to make changes as a result of the executive order, law enforcement leaders should be familiar with its content. The order tasks the U.S. Attorney General with providing guidance to and encouragement for local agencies to submit data and adopt certain practices and policies. This encouragement is likely to be in the form of federal grant awards. Accordingly, some agencies may want to stay up to date on the results of the policies developed pursuant to the executive order and the standards if they are interested in such grants. According to the executive order, several standards and guidance are expected to be published within the next 6 to 8 months and as such, the extent of the impact on local agency policy is not yet known.
Following is important information for law enforcement agencies to consider about President Biden’s executive order on police reform. (Note: Lexipol law enforcement policy customers received this information in a Customer Alert issued June 8, 2022.)
Are agencies required to take any actions immediately?
No. Because the current requirements apply only to federal agencies, there are no immediate actions state and local agencies need to take. Accordingly, Lexipol will not be making changes to our policy content as an immediate result of the executive order, but will continue to monitor proposals coming from the interagency working groups.
In addition, Lexipol’s policies already support the overall intent and purpose of the executive order, addressing many of the standards in detail, including:
|Topic or Standard||Lexipol Policies|
|Accountability for misconduct and transparency through data collection and public reporting||Standards of Conduct
Use of Force
Use of Force Review Boards
Policies that detail reporting requirements
|Proactive measures to prevent profiling based on actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity) or disability||Bias-Based Policing|
|Ending discriminatory pretextual stops||Bias-Based Policing
Traffic and Parking Citations
|Support for evidence-informed, innovative responses to:
• people with substance use disorders
• people with mental health needs
• people with disabilities
• vulnerable youth
• people who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or trafficking
• people experiencing homelessness or living in poverty
|Victim and Witness Assistance
Child and Dependent Adult Safety
Communications with Persons with Disabilities
Limited English Proficiency Services
Crisis Intervention Incidents
|Execution of search warrants and the use of force||Use of Force
Operations Deconfliction and Planning
|Support officer wellness, including officers experiencing substance use disorders, mental health issues and trauma||Wellness Program
(Lexipol also offers a comprehensive wellness solution)
For additional information on Lexipol’s policy positions, please visit our Use of Force Policy website.
Are agencies required to take any actions on a specific future date?
No. Because the order applies only to federal agencies, there are no future required actions.
Are there any actions agencies may want to take as a result of this order?
Potentially. The order ties the awarding of certain federal grants to agencies that receive or apply for accreditation through an approved credentialing body and/or adopt certain policies set forth in the order. However, several steps must take place first and details are yet to emerge. The Attorney General’s office must approve certain credentialing bodies and publish standards for credentialing. This process could include refining or adding to the standards set in the executive order. The Attorney General’s office has 240 days to publish the credentialing body standards.
While waiting for the standards to be published and finalized, law enforcement leaders may want to assess their current practices against the requirements outlined in the executive order. As noted above, agencies that are Lexipol policy customers will already have policies that address many of the components of the order.
Lexipol is committed to assisting law enforcement leaders in meeting the expectations of their communities and their stakeholders for professional, safe, constitutional policing. We will continue to monitor developments associated with President Biden’s executive order on police reform and the credentialing standards, and we will provide policy updates to our customers if needed.