AG Sessions: More proactive policing needed to combat violent crime

In an op-ed, Jeff Sessions said consent decrees "handcuff police instead of the criminals" and hurt communities


By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote in a USA Today op-ed that too much focus is being placed on consent decrees rather than arresting criminals, leading to an increase in violent crime. 

Sessions called for a return to proactive policing, and said in order to restore trust and public safety, common sense reforms like de-escalation training need to be emphasized.

“Too much focus has been placed on a small number of police who are bad actors rather than on criminals,” Sessions wrote in the article. “And too many people believe the solution is to impose consent decrees that discourage the proactive policing that keeps our cities safe.”

The attorney general said the DOJ will prosecute officers who violate civil rights, but consent decrees won’t be signed for “political expediency.” Consent decrees “cost more lives by handcuffing the police instead of the criminals,” leaving minority communities less safe, Sessions wrote.

Sessions argued that the main priority of the United States needs to be restoring public safety by bringing back community policing that works. 

“To help achieve those goals, the department, with the help of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, will focus our efforts on thwarting violent crime, drug trafficking, and gun crime and gang violence,” Sessions wrote. “If combating violent crime and restoring public safety are seen as dramatic reversals, then I fully support such a sea change.”

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