Federal police reform’s impact here in Alabama

Impact of new federal law enforcement guidelines
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 9:13 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Police reform is now happening at the federal level. President Biden signed an executive order on May 25, implementing a number of changes and even creating a data base to limit the spread of bad police or law enforcement officers.

This executive order won’t have a direct impact here in Alabama, but this could encourage departments and agencies in the state to initiate reform themselves. I spoke with rights organizations and law enforcement right here in Alabama, and both believe the order could make a difference.

“I think it is a step forward in the right direction,” said Alabama Fraternal Order of Police President Everette Johnson.

He went on to stress that most of the reforms will only impact the federal level of law enforcement, but why is that?

“Congress has failed to pass federal legislation like the George Floyd justice and policing act so we have known executive action like this may be necessary,” said Policy and Advocacy Director of the Alabama ACLU Dillon Nettles.

Still, the executive order will impact a large number of law enforcement officers.

“I think what’s important to know is that this executive order will largely apply to about 100,000 federal law enforcement officers by tightening restrictions on chokeholds and no knock warrants. We want to see those restrictions at the state and local levels as well,” said Nettles.

State FOP President Johnson believes many departments and states are working to do better. Still he supports several aspects of the order. That’s includes the creation of a data base for all the officers who have been fired for misconduct.

“Good police do not want bad police in their ranks. So in order to have this database built where you can keep bad officers from bouncing around to different agencies is something we obviously support. It’s something on the state level that has already been implemented here,” says Johnson.

State FOP President Johnson says Alabama peace officers standards and training commission has already created a database to help stop the spread of bad officers here in the state. Still he stresses most are ones looking to step up and serve their community.

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