Because every 22.2 seconds, an American is a victim of a violent crime, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is calling on the next president of the United States to establish immediately—during his first 100 days in office—a National Commission on criminal justice and homeland security.
The Commission, the first of its kind since 1965, would be charged with conducting a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system, and would be required to provide the nation with a strategic plan to guide public safety and homeland security efforts in the years ahead. This Commission, along with other recommendations, is outlined in the IACP's new report titled To Protect and Defend: The Public Safety and Homeland Security Challenges Facing the Next President. To read the recommendations, go to www.theiacp.org.
"There is no more critical issue confronting the next president than the safety of all Americans," said IACP President Ronald Ruecker, Director of Public Safety in Sherwood, Ore. "The harsh reality is that in the years since 2001, more than 99,000 Americans have been murdered and more than eight million have been the victims of violent crime. The United States needs a strategic plan that embraces the reality that protecting our communities depends on our ability to fight both crime and terrorism."
"Our nation's homeland security focus must be redirected to America's hometowns and neighborhoods if our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are to enjoy safe communities and declining crime rates," said Ronal Serpas, Chief of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and co-chair of the IACP's Research Advisory Committee. "The preservation of the fabric of America requires that the next administration meaningfully engage this issue early next year."
"President Johnson's 1965 Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice brought us new ways of measuring crime, an emphasis on research needed to combat crime in a free society, and evidence of what crime prevention and control programs worked," said Charles F. Wellford, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland. "A new Commission would do all of this and, given the research base we now have to work with, establish a firmer foundation for confronting crime and terrorism in the 21st Century."
To Protect and Defend identifies several key areas that the nation's law enforcement executives believe are most in need of immediate action. These include:
* Reducing Violent Crime
* Addressing Gang Violence and Gang Migration
* Reducing Firearms Violence
* Combating Illegal Narcotics
* Securing the Borders/Enhancing Federal Immigration Enforcement
* Focusing on Terrorism Prevention
* Promoting Intelligence and Information Sharing
* Adopting a Broad-Based Homeland Security Strategy
* Protecting Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Founded in 1893, the International Association of Chiefs of Police is the world's oldest and largest association of law enforcement executives with more than 22,000 members in nearly 100 countries.
For more information, visit www.theiacp.org.