OMAHA – On Monday, March 2, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing released its Interim Report. (PDF) The report includes a recommendation to eliminate divisive language, a suggestion proposed by Samuel Walker, Professor Emeritus of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).
Walker testified before the Task Force in Washington, DC, earlier this year, on Jan. 13. At the hearing, he recommended that police departments take steps to ban offensive language by police officers directed at community people.
The Task Force recommended that “Because offensive or harsh language can escalate a minor situation, law enforcement agencies should underscore the importance of language used and adopt policies directing officers to speak to individuals with respect.”
In his testimony, Professor Walker argued that there is much evidence that offensive language by police officers, including both racial and ethnic slurs and common vulgarities, occurs day-in and day-out across the country.
Walker said that he is “very gratified” to have his recommendation adopted by the Task Force.
President Barack Obama created the Task Force on Dec.18, 2014, in response to the police-community relations crisis related to the events in Ferguson, Missouri. The president is scheduled to issue a final report in late March.
Please contact Charley Reed, UNO Associate Director of Media Relations, for any requests. Reed can be reached at 402.554.2129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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