October 2, 2022

ACN Center

Area Control Network

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks at the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) 2022 Winter CEO Symposium

16 min read

Remarks as Delivered

Thank you for that very kind introduction. Ron [Gathe] and I got to meet earlier this week at the orientation for new United States Attorneys in Washington, and then we got to spend several hours this morning together talking to his senior leadership staff and the whole U.S. Attorney’s office here.

Good afternoon to all of you. Thanks everyone, and particularly thanks to NOBLE, for inviting me today, and for your leadership.

Keeping our country safe – including from the scourge of violent crime – is one of the Justice Department’s most important responsibilities. But it is not one we can fulfill on our own. You and your law enforcement agencies are our indispensable partners.

You are the first so many turn to when there is a crisis – large or small. Every day, people look to law enforcement for help. And you respond.

You are on the frontlines of combatting violent crime. You are asked not only to keep our communities safe, but also to step in to address a wide array of social problems.

You are often the first people to respond to dealing with a mental health crisis or a substance abuse disorder.

And as we have tragically seen too many times, you do all of this at great risk to yourselves.

I want you to know that the Justice Department recognize how much is being asked of you every single day. And we will do everything within our power to support you and help keep you safe.

As you well know, nearly 46 years ago, 60 Black law enforcement executives traveled to Washington, D.C., for a symposium on combatting crime.

They left Washington having created this organization. NOBLE’s founders recognized the power that comes from collaboration. And it is in that spirit of collaboration that I come here today.

I know that those of us in law enforcement are united when it comes to why we do this work. We are united by our commitment to keep our communities and our country safe. We are united by our commitment to uphold the rule of law and to ensure equal justice under law. And we are united by our understanding that, to do this work successfully, we must also be united with, and gain the trust of, the communities we serve.

By virtue of our experiences we all have been part of important and necessary conversations about how to build trust and legitimacy between law enforcement and our local communities.

We have been in conversations about how to retain that trust, and about how to repair it when it becomes broken.

The Justice Department has engaged in these efforts in several ways.

The method that receives the most media attention is our enforcement work, which is an essential part of how we advance accountability and transparency in policing.

But that is far from the only tool we have to help build trust and legitimacy in law enforcement. As this group knows, the Department provides billions of dollars in grants to support law enforcement.

The Department also seeks to develop and share best practices through technical assistance and other supportive means.

Today, I am announcing an important new initiative.

Through a revamped and re-envisioned Collaborative Reform Initiative, the Department’s COPS Office will be offering three different levels of assistance and expert services to our law enforcement partners everywhere in the country.

This will be the first time in history that the COPS Office is managing and providing these various levels of assistance at the same time.

Before I explain the new initiative, there is one critically important point I want to make: every part of the new Collaborative Reform Initiative is completely voluntary.

The initiative has been designed so that our law enforcement partners can make the decision to seek and customize support depending on the scope and complexity of their own needs.

Building on a decade of experience with various models, the new initiative reflects what stakeholders like you have told us.

Our new model reflects hours of listening sessions with law enforcement agencies and associations, civil rights groups, and community organizations.

NOBLE’s Executive Director, Dwayne Crawford, and his associates at the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the many other law enforcement organizations – as well as many community groups and leaders – provided us with valuable insights that have informed our new plan.

This new model reflects the lessons the Justice Department has learned about how best to support you, our law enforcement partners.

The result is an approach that offers law enforcement agencies the choice of three different levels of support and intervention. Each level, in its own distinct way, will help build collaboration, trust, and legitimacy.

The first level of assistance – and the most targeted and discrete – is the continuation of the existing Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center, or CRI-TAC.

Established in 2017, CRI-TAC provides a wide range of targeted technical assistance services.

The Department’s COPS Office leads CRI-TAC. But CRI-TAC involves a coalition of support and expertise from 10 leading law enforcement stakeholder organizations, including NOBLE.

Through CRI-TAC’s “by the field, for the field” approach, the Department is able to facilitate customizable, short-term technical assistance on more than 60 subjects. Those topics range from gun violence reduction and prevention, to officer safety and wellness, to community engagement.

Subject matter experts from the field design tailored solutions in collaboration with each agency to assess its individual needs.

Technical assistance timelines are established at the pace of the requesting agency, ranging from three to six months.

Last year, CRI-TAC worked with 171 law enforcement agencies.

The new initiative will maintain CRI-TAC as the first level of support.

Now, all of us in law enforcement know that we constantly face new and unexpected challenges. Often, these challenges involve responding to a critical incident.

To help address this reality, the initiative’s second level of assistance will be an updated Critical Response program.

A law enforcement agency that is experiencing a high-profile event or other special circumstance, and that determines it could use assistance, will be able to reach out to the COPS Office for help.

Like CRI-TAC, this program is also customizable and provides flexible assistance to law enforcement agencies in a variety of ways.

Once an agency connects with us, we will have tools in place to offer support ranging from after-action reviews, to peer-to-peer exchanges, to data analysis and recommendations, to discussions with experts.

The timeline for these engagements will vary depending on the needs and scope of the situation, but it will range anywhere from two weeks to nine months.

As is the case with CRI-TAC, this program is completely voluntary and will be offered as a way for the Justice Department to support your work. Not to add to it.

Finally, we recognize that there are times when needs exceed what targeted technical assistance can provide.

We know that there are localities in which law enforcement agencies and communities are ready and eager to collaboratively reform.

Building on lessons learned from the initial Collaborative Reform model that launched in 2012 but ended in 2017, the third and most intensive piece of this new model will be the Organizational Assessments program.

This program will offer the most intensive form of support, involving in-depth assessments on systemic issues.

To reiterate – we listened when you voiced your concerns about how the program operated in the past. And that is why we are going to be doing things differently.

We heard you when you said that more helpful than one hefty report at the tail-end of an engagement would be guidance and recommendations on an ongoing basis.

Now, when an agency participates in the Organizational Assessments program, areas for reform will be addressed with timely, ongoing, and actionable guidance.

We heard you when you said that realistic recommendations are more useful than recommendations that sound good on paper but are difficult to put into place in practice.

We will not be leaving you with a long list of suggested measures to implement on your own. We will provide you with the technical assistance you need to accomplish reforms as they are identified.

To help ensure transparency and accountability, we will also routinely report the status of our efforts to the public.

I want to be clear that this level of support is intensive. It is designed to transform a law enforcement agency’s operations and its relationship with the community.

But this is not an enforcement action – it is a voluntary opportunity for an agency that knows it needs to make changes, and wants to make changes, to help them do that.

The Department will be prioritizing offering this level of support to agencies that have a clear desire to engage with this model.

It is our hope that each of these programs – CRI-TAC, Critical Response, and Organizational Assessments – will provide our law enforcement partners with the various forms of support you need to do your jobs safely and effectively.

Earlier today, you heard from my colleague, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, who is an indispensable member of the Justice Department’s leadership team.

The initiative we are announcing today reflects not only her oversight of the COPS Office, but the spirit in which she operates in the Department as a whole.

Through her management of various components, including the COPS Office, the Office of Justice Programs, and the Civil Rights Division, Vanita is ensuring that we collaborate by sharing best practices and supporting each other within the Department.

Improving our coordination inside the Department will help us better support all of the external law enforcement agency partners. I cannot commend Vanita enough for her efforts on this and so many other critical issues. [Applause]

As I said at the beginning of my remarks, we at the Justice Department understand the pressures that you are under.

We recognize the extraordinary burdens that are being placed on you every day.

It is our hope that this new Collaborative Reform Initiative will ease some of those burdens.

Last Friday marked my first full year serving as Attorney General. I had enormous respect for the work that this organization does, but I have had that respect since long before I became Attorney General. This is my fourth tour of duty at the Justice Department – I just do not seem to be able to stay away. [Laughter]

During each tour, I’ve had the benefit of the support and advice from NOBLE, for which I am grateful and for which I will continue to be grateful. [Applause]

I have repeatedly emphasized the role the Justice Department plays in upholding the rule of law.

And as I have said, the only way we can do that successfully is by keeping and earning the trust of the American people and the communities we serve.

We earn that trust by keeping all of our communities safe and by protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of the people in our communities.

That is the Justice Department’s mission, and I know it is crucial. It is one that none of us can accomplish alone. It is one that we can and will accomplish together.

I thank you for your partnership and your leadership.

And I look forward to working with you in the days ahead. Thank you.

More from: March 18, 2022

  • Serial Child Sex Offender Sentenced to Life in Prison for Child Exploitation Offenses
    In Crime News
    A federal judge sentenced a Texas man today to life in prison without the possibility of parole for child exploitation offenses involving an 11-year-old, including sex trafficking, production and possession of child pornography, and committing a felony involving a minor while registered as a sex offender.

    [Read More…]

  • Justice Department Settles with Transport Packaging Services Company to Resolve Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice today announced it has reached a settlement agreement with Rehrig Pacific Company (Rehrig Pacific), headquartered in California. The settlement resolves allegations that Rehrig Pacific discriminated against a non-U.S. citizen when, because of his citizenship status, it did not give him the opportunity to produce his choice of valid documentation proving his permission to work.  

    [Read More…]

  • Veteran Federal Employment: OPM and Agencies Could Better Leverage Data to Help Improve Veteran Retention Rates
    In U.S GAO News
    From fiscal years 2014 through 2018, veterans left federal government jobs at a higher rate than non-veterans, according to GAO analysis of Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data. After controlling for key demographic and employment factors, GAO estimated that on average, 6.7 percent of veterans left the federal government compared to 5 percent of similar non-veterans. While veterans primarily left to retire, veterans resigned from federal service at 1.6 times the rate of similar non-veterans. GAO also estimated that 18.7 percent of veterans resigned within their first 5 years of federal service compared to 11.1 percent of similar non-veterans. Each of the 24 Chief Financial Officer Act agencies experienced higher rates of attrition among veteran employees than similar non-veteran employees. GAO identified six workplace factors associated with veterans’ intentions to leave federal service. These factors—or drivers of retention—are based on an analysis of data from the OPM Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (OPM FEVS), a tool for collecting employees’ perceptions of their federal work experiences. Key Workplace Factors Associated with Veterans Considering Leaving Federal Service More than half of both veterans and non-veterans reported being satisfied with five of the six factors. More than half of both veterans and non-veterans reported not being satisfied with opportunities for advancement at their agencies. Overall we found that veterans were slightly less satisfied with these factors than non-veterans, which could in part explain the higher attrition rates for veterans. Improvements in employee satisfaction in these areas may lead to higher retention rates. Performing analyses similar to those in this report could help agencies identify and strengthen strategies for improving veteran retention. However, challenges exist for agencies using OPM FEVS data on their own to identify drivers of retention among their workforces. OPM could help agencies with these analyses so they could use data to address veteran retention issues and other workforce challenges. Approximately 200,000 servicemembers transition from military service to civilian life each year, according to the Department of Defense. A 2009 executive order created a government-wide initiative to increase veteran federal employment. While veteran hiring has increased since 2009, OPM has raised concerns about retention and job satisfaction of newly hired veterans. GAO was asked to analyze veteran federal employment data. This report analyzes (1) recent trends in attrition for veterans and non-veterans, and (2) key factors that may affect a veteran employee’s decision to leave federal employment. GAO conducted a statistical analysis comparing attrition for veterans and similar non-veterans for fiscal years 2014 through 2018 (the most current data available). GAO conducted a literature review to identify potential drivers of retention and used regression methods to analyze OPM FEVS data to identify key drivers for veterans and non-veterans. GAO also interviewed OPM officials and veteran service organizations. GAO recommends that OPM assist the 24 CFO Act agencies by using OPM FEVS data to analyze the key drivers of veterans’ retention. OPM partially concurred with the recommendation because of concerns about its scope and, in response, we modified it. For more information, contact Yvonne D. Jones at (202) 512-2717 or jonesy@gao.gov.

    [Read More…]

  • Statement from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on the Life of Walter E. Dellinger III
    In Crime News
    U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland released today the following statement on the passing of Walter E. Dellinger III: “The passing of Walter Dellinger is an enormous loss for those of us at the Justice Department who worked alongside and learned from him, for his family who cherished him, and for our nation, which was made better because of him.

    [Read More…]

  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken with Osman Ayfarah of Al Jazeera
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Gilead Agrees To Pay $97 Million To Resolve Alleged False Claims Act Liability For Paying Kickbacks
    In Crime News
    Pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Gilead), based in Foster City, California, has agreed to pay $97 million to resolve claims that it violated the False Claims Act by illegally using a foundation as a conduit to pay the copays of thousands of Medicare patients taking Gilead’s pulmonary arterial hypertension drug, Letairis, the Justice Department announced today. 

    [Read More…]

  • Opening Statement at Climate Adaptation Summit 2021
    In Climate – Environment – Conservation
    John Kerry, Special [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Awards More Than $210 Million to Support Forensic Science
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced grant awards totaling more than $210 million to fund crime laboratories, support research, decrease DNA backlogs and help law enforcement identify missing persons. The funding is administered by the OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

    [Read More…]

  • Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Al Thani
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Departments of Justice and State Launch International Program to Support Women in Leadership Roles in Counterterrorism
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) and the U.S. Department of State’s Counterterrorism Bureau (DOS/CT) recently launched a new program to support women in leadership roles in counterterrorism.

    [Read More…]

  • United States Trains Ukraine To Identify and Respond to the Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Targeted Assassinations
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Coast Guard: Enhancements Needed to Strengthen Marine Inspection Workforce Planning Efforts
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The safe operation of vessels is critical to the maritime sector, which contributes nearly $5.4 trillion annually to the U.S. economy. The U.S. Coast Guard uses a tool called the Sector Staffing Model to assess its marine inspection staffing levels at operational field units for the upcoming year. GAO’s analysis of the tool’s data shows that the supply of marine inspectors has consistently not met the estimated need (see fig.). However, the Coast Guard collects and analyzes limited data to forecast future workforce and industry trends that could affect the supply and demand for marine inspectors. For example, the Coast Guard collects industry data to forecast workforce needs for certain vessel types (e.g., cruise ships) but not others (e.g., freight vessels). Further, the Coast Guard does not regularly collect and analyze other data, such as future potential retirements, that could affect the supply of marine inspectors. Collecting additional data to forecast future trends in the maritime industry and its marine inspection workforce would enhance the Coast Guard’s ability to identify potential future workforce needs. Percentage of Coast Guard Marine Inspection Workforce Staffed Compared with the Sector Staffing Model’s Full Capacity Estimates, 2012 through 2020 The Coast Guard has initiatives as part of its workforce improvement plan to address long-standing marine inspection workforce needs, but they are at varying stages of completion. For example, the Coast Guard began implementing initiatives to address challenges in four key areas—training and skills, technology, workforce staffing levels, and workforce structure. Specifically, in 2020 and 2021, the Coast Guard developed new training courses, deployed a mobile application that allows remote access to its inspection database, and added 65 new marine inspector positions to help address its shortfall of over 400 inspectors. Other initiatives remain ongoing. However, the Coast Guard has not established performance measures with targets for its marine inspection workforce improvement plan and associated initiatives that would identify desired outcomes and provide a means to measure how its efforts help close workforce gaps over time. Doing so would better position the Coast Guard to determine the effectiveness of its efforts to address its marine inspection workforce challenges. Why GAO Did This Study The Coast Guard serves as the principal federal agency responsible for marine safety. A key element of this mission is the marine inspection program, which employs marine inspectors to conduct vessel inspections. However, for decades, the program has faced challenges maintaining an adequate staff of experienced marine safety personnel. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 includes a provision for GAO to review marine inspection workforce issues. This report examines the extent to which the Coast Guard has (1) assessed its marine inspection workforce needs and (2) addressed these needs. To address these objectives, GAO reviewed Coast Guard policies, workforce assessments, and performance plans; analyzed staffing level data from 2012 through 2020 (the years with comparable data); and interviewed Coast Guard officials.

    [Read More…]

  • Religious Freedom Concerns in Russia
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
  • Two Owners of New York Pharmacies Charged in a $30 Million COVID-19 Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering Case
    In Crime News
    The owners of over a dozen New York-area pharmacies were charged in an indictment unsealed today for their roles in a $30 million health care fraud and money laundering scheme, in which they exploited emergency codes and edits in the Medicare system that went into effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to submit fraudulent claims for expensive cancer drugs that were never provided, ordered, or authorized by medical professionals.

    [Read More…]

  • Cameroon National Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Application and Case Processing
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
    Bureau of Population, [Read More…]
  • Sri Lanka National Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Biofuel Fraudster Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Scamming Multiple Federal Agencies and Customers
    In Crime News
    The owner of a biofuel company was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $10,207,000 in restitution for defrauding multiple federal agencies and customers.

    [Read More…]

  • This Week in Iran Policy
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Albanian Prime Minister Rama
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]

Source: Network News
Area Control Network

Copyright © 2022 ACN
All Rights Reserved © ACN 2020

ACN Privacy Policies
ACN TOS
Area Control Network (ACN)
Area Control Network
Area Control Network Center