SAFE Justice Act introduced with support from Police Foundation

sensenbrenner and scottThe Police Foundation has joined in support of the Safe, Accountable, Fair and Effective (SAFE) Justice Act, a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill that would overhaul the federal sentencing and corrections system, as well as provide a wide range of reforms for law enforcement. The bill was introduced by Congressmen James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Bobby Scott (D-VA).

The SAFE Justice Act’s provisions address many aspects of the federal criminal justice system and stem from the findings of the House Judiciary Committee’s Over-criminalization Task Force. The Police Foundation supports the inclusion of provisions for important reinvestment in law enforcement capabilities and training in four areas: Officer Safety and Wellness, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Training, Leadership Training, and Critical Incident Reviews. More information on the law enforcement provisions of the act are available here.

Some specific items eligible for use of reinvested funds include:

  • Individual tactical first-aid kits, body armor and pepper spray
  • Development of best practices on body-worn cameras
  • Research and training in de-escalation techniques and non-lethal technologies
  • Establishment of national center to advance training and knowledge on mental health issues in the criminal justice system
  • Providing funding for state and local law enforcement leaders to attend the FBI National Academy
  • Nationwide “blue-alert” warning system
  • National center to coordinate a “near-miss database” to better capture, study and disseminate lessons-learned and critical incident review center
  • National “officer involved shooting database”
  • Funding and training on community-based policing techniques

Chief Jim Bueermann, (Ret.) President of the Police Foundation, said “The SAFE Justice is an important step forward in the conversation about our nation’s criminal justice system. I was particularly pleased to see substantial reinvestment of the projected $2 billion in savings from this legislation back into our nation’s law enforcement community. Line officers and leadership alike will greatly benefit from expanded access provided by the bill for training, safety equipment and health and wellness. What’s more, these important investments will help us pivot back to a more effective model of community policing. At the end of the day, our communities win with this legislation.”

The Police Foundation looks forward to supporting the SAFE Justice Act through the legislative process as well as continuing its work with the Congress and larger stakeholder community on these important policing issues, Bueermann said.

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