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MNPD Sergeant James Smallwood Appointed to Presidential Law Enforcement Commission

1/22/2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

United States Attorney General William Barr today appointed MNPD Sergeant James Smallwood to the 18-member Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice.

President Trump last October signed an Executive Order authorizing and designating the Attorney General to create the Commission that would explore modern issues affecting law enforcement that most impact the ability of American policing to reduce crime.

“There is no more noble and important profession than law enforcement. A free and safe society requires a trusted and capable police force to safeguard our rights to life and liberty,” said Attorney General Barr. “But as criminal threats and social conditions have changed the responsibilities and roles of police officers, there is a need for a modern study of how law enforcement can best protect and serve American communities. This is why the President instructed me to establish this critical Commission, whose members truly reflect the best there is in law enforcement. Together, we will examine, discuss, and debate how justice is administered in the United States and uncover opportunities for progress, improvement, and innovation.”

Sergeant Smallwood, a 10-year MNPD veteran and current President of the Andrew Jackson Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, was in Washington, D.C. today for the Commission’s first meeting.

“I am honored to represent the brave men and women of law enforcement in this endeavor, and excited to engage in this important work as we seek to solve the real challenges facing the law enforcement profession today,” Sergeant Smallwood said.

The Executive Order instructs the Commission to conduct its study by focusing on the law enforcement officers who are tasked with reducing crime on a daily basis. It also directs the Commission to research “important current issues facing law enforcement and the criminal justice system,” and recommends a variety of subjects for study, such as, but not limited to:

  • The challenges to law enforcement associated with mental illness, homelessness, substance abuse, and other social factors that influence crime and strain criminal justice resources;
  • The recruitment, hiring, training, and retention of law enforcement officers, including in rural and tribal communities;
  • Refusals by State and local prosecutors to enforce laws or prosecute categories of crimes;
  • The need to promote public confidence and respect for the law and law enforcement officers; and
  • The effects of technological innovations on law enforcement and the criminal justice system, including the challenges and opportunities presented by such innovations.

The Commission will principally conduct its study through a series of hearings, panel presentations, field visits, and other public meetings. At these events, the Commission will hear from subject matter experts, public officials, private citizens, and other relevant stakeholders and institutions who can provide valuable insight into these issues.

The Commissioners, appointed by the Attorney General and announced today, are urban police chiefs, state prosecutors, county sheriffs, members of rural and tribal law enforcement, federal agents, U.S. Attorneys, and a state attorney general. In addition to their diverse experiences and backgrounds, each member brings to the Commission an expertise in formulating and shaping law enforcement policy and leading police departments and law enforcement organizations.

The Commission will meet monthly for the next year and then report its findings to the Attorney General, who will submit a final report to the President.

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Sgt. James Smallwood

MNPD Sgt. James Smallwood and his colleagues on the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement are sworn in by Attorney General William Barr during a ceremony today in Washington.