WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order intended to ensure that law enforcement agencies that receive military-style equipment from the federal government receive proper training, White House officials said Monday.
A senior White House official told reporters that Obama is expected to sign an executive order that will make the various agencies that give billions of dollars' worth of equipment to local police departments work together. A review initiated by the White House in August -- following the police response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown -- found that the programs offering police equipment had "significantly expanded" over the decades across many federal agencies and that "training has not been institutionalized, specifically with respect to civil rights and civil liberties protections, or the safe use of equipment received through the federal government."
The report also says there is a "lack of consistency in how federal programs are structured, implemented and audited."
Additionally, the White House announced that Obama will sign an executive order creating a Task Force on 21st Century Policing, led by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and former Justice Department official Laurie Robinson. It will examine "how to promote effective crime reduction while building public trust" and will prepare a report and recommendation within 90 days of its creation, according to the White House.
Obama will also propose a $263 million investment package over three years that includes $75 million to cover half of the cost of about 50,000 body cameras for local and state law enforcement agencies.