President Trump To Sign Executive Order On Police Reform

( On Tuesday, President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order that will work toward police reform in the United States.

The order isn’t yet finalized, but it is expected to create a national certification system for law enforcement agencies as well as a database to help track excessive use of force. Sources who are familiar with the text of the order told news outlets Tuesday that the president is going to leave more far-reaching police reforms to Congress.

In addition to the reforms above, the executive order may ask the secretary of Health and Human Services to work with police departments to get mental health professionals involved with responses to calls that have to do with mental health, addiction and homelessness. It may even call for police departments to hire mental health professionals to be co-responders in these incidents.

As Ja’Ron Smith, a deputy assistant to Trump, said Monday on Fox News:

“Co-responders would allow for police to do their job but bring in social workers and experts that deal with mental health and deal with issues such as drug addiction or alcohol addiction or even other issues like homelessness.”

The executive order is expected to encourage Congress to pass laws regarding police reform, and will also acknowledge that some police officers have misused their authority, especially recently.

While Democrats in the House and Senate have already unveiled a wide-sweeping police reform bill, Senate Republicans are expected to reveal their legislation this week. The effort to create that legislation has been led by South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate.

A source recently told the Associated Press that the bill will not only restrict the use of chokeholds by police departments, but with withhold federal funds from any department that continues to allow their officers to do it.

The bill would also add more funding for police body-worn cameras. It would create a nationwide database to record all incidents of force by police. It would make lynching a federal crime. And it would use grants to incentivize law enforcement departments to inform the FBI if an incident of use of force leads to either serious injury or death.

As Scott said on NBC on Sunday:

“I think we’re going to get a bill that actually becomes law. This is an issue whose time has come. It’s not Republicans and Democrats. It’s Americans working together to solve a serious issue that has been running rampant throughout communities of color for far too long.”

Democrats have been pushing to do away with “qualified immunity,” which is a practice that protects police officers from being sued. Republicans have thus far rejected that idea.

Many Democrats are hoping that Scott is able to convince Senate Republicans to go far enough in creating police reform that they can sign onto. As Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat, said last week:

“Tim Scott is a good person, and I’ve worked with him, talked to him and respect him. I hope that he’ll step up. He can make a significant and historic contribution if he can bring the Republicans to a point where they are truly supportive of meaningful reform.”