WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced that it would hold 12 listening sessions and invite public comment on ways to strengthen public trust and confidence in the Department’s law enforcement programs, ensure appropriate policy and oversight is implemented, and assure supportive resources are available for officer mental health, wellness, and safety. Feedback from the public will inform the work of the Department’s Law Enforcement Task Force and help usher the nation into the next phase of community-focused law enforcement.
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland launched the Task Force last year to implement the highest standards for protecting the public and provide necessary policy guidance, resources, and training to agency personnel.
“The Department of the Interior has a unique opportunity through the Law Enforcement Task Force to be a national leader in community-focused law enforcement and a model of how to build trust and collaboration between law enforcement and the public that they serve,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau. “These listening sessions will be critical as the Department works to ensure the highest standards for protecting the public and provide policy guidance, resources, and training to our cherished law enforcement officers.”
On May 25, 2022, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety. This EO “will enhance public trust by promoting accountability, transparency, and the principles of equality and dignity in policing.” The Department’s Law Enforcement Task Force is working to support the President’s direction.
Led by Deputy Secretary Beaudreau and comprised of law enforcement representatives from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and the DOI Office of Law Enforcement and Security, the task force has been working diligently over the last year to establish the scope of the project, ensure equity in all its work, and develop strategies for outreach and data collection.