Your DGB for today is to contact Congress to express your support for a bill that will mandate additional training for police officers in de-escalation and using the lowest level of force necessary.
In the last few years there have been a number of highly publicized and questionable police shootings against American citizens, especially those in marginalized communities. The Preventing Tragedies Between Police and Communities Act of 2016 is a bill currently before Congress that seeks to reduce these incidents through training. At DGB, we support this win-win effort to protect communities and support positive change.
The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigation. We ask you to call your Senators and Representatives, and urge them to push the bill to a passing vote, ESPECIALLY if you are a constituent of committee members (looking at you, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia, Texas, Utah, South Carolina, Idaho, Colorado, and Michigan). You can find the list of committee members here.
Currently, police spend 13 times more hours in training on gun use and mastering defensive tactics than they do in learning how to de-escalate conflicts. It’s time to change the way police departments approach officer training. This bill aims to create trust and cooperation between law enforcement and communities.
If you’d like to educate yourself further on this topic, this Washington Post Database shows the number of fatal shootings of citizens by police officers in 2016.