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The policing sector is a crucial and critical one, whose policies and laws affect service delivery for all citizens and the overall security and safety of people in a country. Therefore, police reforms in terms of policies and procedures are not just initiated and occasioned by the police themselves, despite the fact that they have the ability of doing it. Police reform efforts have always been underpinned by legislative processes in the parliaments of the country. The goal of police reform efforts has always been enhancing public trust and maintaining integrity within the service. Always, police reform efforts have the impact of restoring trust in the service by people, and enhancing honesty as well as good practice by the officers. Reform efforts are often informed by the fact that the police are always the first responders to incidences of crime hence sometimes facing the tempting opportunity of circumventing the law to shield the offenders or criminals.
Police reforms also have the impact of reducing the use of force and brute on people within the service. In the past, police officers often persecuted suspects arrested with many cases of deaths happening while victims are in the brutal hands of the police. It has been established that the biggest impact of police reform efforts through legislation has been reduction of the use of force on people. Police are increasingly being encouraged to befriend community members and enhance co-policing with the people being the main sources of intelligence and information.
In the United States the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 have been thanked as police reforms which assisted much in the fight against drug dealing within the country. Before these laws, the United States was the epicenter of drug business across the world. It was the destination market. The scenario has overtime changed because of some of the police reforms implemented. Currently, there are legislative efforts such as The Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which directly affects drug war agenda in policing. The initiators of this law are the members of the advocacy group known as the Congressional Black Caucus. The proposed legislation seeks to bring a raft of changes to federal, state, and local law enforcement practice. Specifically for the drug war, the proposed legislation intends to ban no-knock warrants for drug cases at the federal level. Secondly, there is the First Step Act, a legislative police reform effort that intends shielding the community stereotyping in the war on drugs. It sought to buffer the Black and Latino American communities from unfairly being targeted by the police in the war on drugs.
The third important police reform effort is the The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The law seeks to ensure that police force and brute are reduced significantly, and justice for suspects improved. The effort followed the gruesome and brutal murder of George Floyd by a police officer in the United States.
Certainly, the The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is the police reform effort with immense expected impact on policing. The law will ban no-knock warrants which have strongly been termed as the cornerstone for the war on drugs. Getting evidence of drug abuse and trading had been made easy and possible with the no-knock warrants.
Police unions can help the police reform agenda not to become so punitive for the officers. The union’s work in this case is to ensure that all current reform efforts are analyzed in terms of welfare and work impact on the police officer and protect the officers.