On Thursday, January 28, 2016, Richard Rosa (HAPCOA National Board – 2nd VP) and Joe Perez (HAPCOA NCR – President) attended a meeting with US Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the Department of Justice with other law enforcement organization representatives from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Major Cities Chief Associations (MCCA), National Associations of Police Organizations (NAPO), National Organizations of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE) and others to discuss the implementation of the recommendations on 21st Century Policing. Additionally, COPS Office Director Ron Davis, Assistant Attorney Generals Karol Mason for the Bureau of Justice Assistance and Vanita Gupta for the Civil Rights Division and Senior Advisor D. Paul Monteiro for Community Relations Service were in attendance.
AG Lynch shared some views on 21st Century policing and that DOJ has partnered with NOBLE to address police training and community relations.
Topics introduced by the law enforcement organizations in attendance:
1. Asset Forfeiture Funds restoration. AG Lynch remarked that this is a ‘valuable program’ and fund disbursements will continue once DOJ is able to do so.
2. Electronic encryption (See IACP Summit Report – Data, Privacy and Public Safety at www.theiacp.org
3. Deadly Force – The need for enhanced training; investigations of deadly force events; the public stating police should not investigate itself and review of investigation. Re-examining/re-engineering ‘Use of Force’ specifically, when it involves edged-weapons.
4. The Oregon Ridge situation and the Sovereign Movement around the country.
5. Mental Health and increase of violent crime transcends all gender, socio-economic groups, etc.
6. Opioid issue and the need for funding and training.
7. Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB) – delay of application and approving disbursements of benefits. Application process is delayed for reasons such as: Did the officer make an improper lane change, speeding, wearing seatbelt, etc. An undue family hardship is created.
A/AG Karol Mason stated substantial changes to PSOB to pay claims to family are forthcoming.
AG Lynch voiced that meetings on PSOB, and encryption, etc. are important topics for discussion. She also stressed that it is important to amplify positive stories.
HAPCOA commented that we had a conversation with John Quinones from the television program, ‘What Would You Do’ at our recent annual symposium in November 2015. We discussed the opportunity to feature a story on Hispanic law enforcement officers. In light of AG Lynch’s request, HAPCOA asked the law enforcement organizations present to submit positive stories involving minority law enforcement officers to our website in the hope that Mr. Quinones would consider doing such a positive story on various minority law enforcement officers.
Report submitted by Rich Rosa, HAPCOA 2nd VP, February 2016