Press Releases

Knight Looks For Better Ways to Protect and Serve

Congressman Partakes in Hearing on Relationship Between Communities and Law Enforcement

f t # e
Washington, DC, October 6, 2015 | comments

Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) took part in a hearing held by the House Republican Policy Committee’s Law Enforcement Task Force on Tuesday. 

The hearing, which was titled, "Examining the state of relations between the people and their protectors," focused on the need for police departments to work with their local communities to create policies and practices that strengthen the relationship between police officers and citizens and respect for the laws. Members of the Task Force heard testimony from a range of witnesses, including two sheriffs, a state Attorney General, and Directors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and the RAND Safety and Justice Program. 

“Unfortunately, the national conversation we’re having today about our law enforcement is often dominated by negativity and misunderstanding,” said Rep. Knight. “This undermines public safety and stability, and must be changed. I hope this hearing will take us a step in the direction of making the conversation and national mood more constructive.”
During his remarks, Rep. Knight shared his experience as a veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, where he served for 18 years. He also reported relevant feedback that he received from local law enforcement during a discussion he hosted in August with representatives from California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Los Angeles Police Department. His comments and questions largely revolved around the importance of highlighting best practices that departments across the country can adopt rather than creating federal mandates, which he pointed out can have unintended negative consequences.

“Every community in America has a unique set of values and needs, and so too must every police department have a distinct set of goals and guidelines to serve them adequately,” continued Knight. “Police policies should not be driven by negative voices in the national media, but should instead be focused on benefiting the community, preserving officers’ safety, and reducing crime.”

This was the first formal hearing that the Law Enforcement Task Force has held. Rep. Knight plans to continue gathering information from experts and local authorities to share with local departments across the nation.

f t # e