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In 2022, Biden Can Reform Policing From the Top Down

Executive action can bring accountability to federal law enforcement agencies and set an example for local departments, writes Arnold Ventures Director of Criminal Justice Marc Krupanski in a San Antonio Express News op-ed.

Officers stand in front of patrol vehicle while onlookers stand nearby.
Minneapolis Police officers stage outside a scene where a person was killed during an arrest attempt on June 3, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Members of a U.S. Marshals Service task force were attempting to arrest the man in a parking ramp when the shooting occurred. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Even as Congress failed to pass a law better regulating policing in 2021, the White House has an opportunity to reform federal law enforcement agencies in 2022. The Biden administration has the authority to create new guidelines and procedures for agencies like Customs and Border Patrol, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Drug Enforcement Agency, writes Arnold Ventures Director of Criminal Justice Marc Krupanski in an op-ed for the San Antonio Express News this week.

The Biden administration has all the power it needs to implement policing reforms, increase transparency, and restore public trust in law enforcement institutions,” Krupanski wrote. 

The op-ed highlights the need to address officer misconduct and excessive use of force, and also to pair any new regulations with robust data collection and national standards for decertification. 

At the top of the agenda, department heads can set clear policies that set a standard for conduct and curtail officer misconduct and excessive use-of-force.”

In addition to officer accountability, federal reforms should also use data to help close racial gaps in stops, arrests, and other policing actions. The Biden administration also can promote noncarcerative solutions at a federal level, enacting best practices and setting an example for the nation’s 18,000 local law enforcement agencies.

The DOJ, in partnership with federal law enforcement agencies, can incentivize performance metrics of departments and individual officers in ways that better match broader community needs, such as incentivizing the use of discretionary powers, diversion from arrests and detention, and advancing public health objectives, such as decreased overdose rates.”

Read the entire op-ed here: How Biden can change federal policing practices