TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -The department said Friday it’s making significant changes to the Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance, which was established in 2011 to investigate and issued public reports about problems it found in individual police departments.
The program is a “a long-term strategy that first identifies issues within an agency that may affect public trust and then offers recommendations based on a comprehensive agency assessment for how to resolve those issues and enhance the relationship between the police and the community,” the Justice Department said in 2016.
“Changes to this program will fulfill my commitment to respect local control and accountability, while still delivering important tailored resources to local law enforcement to fight violent crime,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Friday.
The program “will return control to the public safety personnel sworn to protect their communities and focus on providing real-time technical assistance to best address the identified needs of requesting agencies to reduce violent crime,” he added.
“This is a course correction to ensure that resources go to agencies that require assistance rather than expensive wide-ranging investigative assessments that go beyond the scope of technical assistance and support."
The move falls in line with US President Donald Trump's pro-police administration.
Last month, Sessions lifted a ban on the transfer of surplus military equipment to state and local police departments, adding fuel to the ongoing debate of police violence.
The Congressional Black Caucus condemned the move, saying, "This is yet another example of what the black community has to lose under this administration."
"This decision is wrong, reckless, insensitive, and immature," he added. "It also further divides police departments and communities – rich and poor, black and white," said Cedric Richmond CBC chairman and a lawmaker representing Louisiana's 2nd congressional district.
US police departments have been under heightened scrutiny in recent years for the disproportionate number of police killings of African Americans.
At least 1,093 people were killed by police in the US last year, according to the Guardian newspaper's The Counted database.