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Crime & Policing

Being tough on crime doesn't necessarily mean harsher laws or adding on more police. It means investing in the police we already have by providing them with the tools and resources they need to be stronger and better. It means transparency. It means investing in crime prevention programs and providing our police with a multicultural education and community policing training.

First, we must understand that statistically crime is not reduced by one or two things, but by a multitude of factors in society. Some may believe tougher laws or mass incarceration is the solution. Others may say it’s due to more police officers, better crime strategies, a greater economy, higher education and income, etc. What we do know for sure is that positive life experiences undoubtedly lead to greater social progress indexes throughout the world. Eliminating crime means focusing on all of the above with special attention to our police force because they are the ones on the front lines standing between discord and peace. 

As a nation, we must also understand that there’s a reason we separate our military from our police. The one stands to fight the enemies of the state and the other serves and protects the people. When these boundaries cross or these lines become blurred, it can create a state of confusion. We don’t build trust between police and communities when we arm local law enforcement as if they’re going to war. Police must know and practice de-escalation techniques and use alternatives to lethal force. Furthermore, when our judges and courts confuse the purpose of our police force with that of the military, the lines of justice again become blurred. 

In 2017, shortly after my graduation from Valparaiso University School of Law, I authored a book entitled, “A Better Police Force” in support of policing nationwide. The purpose of the book was to create a greater dialogue about what exactly is needed to create harmony between the community and law enforcement agencies throughout the country. In it, I provide seven techniques that can be applied to the police force to create a better, stronger, and more harmonious form of policing. One of those techniques is community policing. The other technique is to provide them with a multicultural education which will give our police first-hand knowledge on the marginalized and disenfranchised individuals living in the communities they are charged with protecting and serving. It also discusses the importance of police and mental health and other forms of violence prevention. 

As a future U.S. Senator, I promise to introduce and/or support legislation that: 

  • Contributes to the overall health (including mental health) and wealth of Americans generally as it relates to crime prevention 

  • Raises the age for criminal liability and offers rehabilitative programs to youth wherever possible   

  • Cracks down on any due process or civil violations which may not necessarily involve the police (ex. Toll Road Issues, Unreasonable Searches, no-knock warrants, etc.) 

  • Invests in law enforcement multicultural education training and other crime prevention programs immediately with a focus on community policing, a duty to intervene, and banning dangerous techniques like neck restraints and chokeholds 

  • Creates a better vetting process for police officers to ensure we have a highly aware, educated and culturally sensitive police force and a system that gives us early warning signs for problematic officers

  • Creates a national registry for police misconduct and revisits qualified immunity 

  • Creates alternative solutions for fleeing suspects which are not fatal

  • Encourages re-entry in an effort to reduce recidivism 

  • Establishes federal standards and/or guidelines for the use of force and provides greater transparency and enforcement with regard to use of body cameras

  • Protects innocent individuals from vigilantism and other forms of harassment 

  • Provides greater federal oversight capacity for the thousands of law enforcement agencies across the nation 

  • Holds prosecutors to a higher level of scrutiny and/or accountability when it comes to how they handle crimes and how charges are brought 

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