Interior Department Releases New Report Outlining Improvements for Law Enforcement Programs

Recommendations will assist law enforcement and communities strengthen trust and collaboration

Last edited 01/03/2024

Date: Friday, October 27, 2023


WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today released a new report offering a series of recommendations to assist federal law enforcement and communities strengthen trust, accountability and collaboration through community-focused law enforcement. The report lists 12 overarching improvements to enhance the trust afforded to Interior Department law enforcement, support the safety, health and wellness of officers, and ensure that law enforcement programs effectively continue to provide for safe and equitable access to public lands and the free exercise of fundamental rights in public spaces.

The Department’s Law Enforcement Task Force, established in 2021 by Secretary Deb Haaland and led by Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau, was charged with implementing a vision of utilizing an equity lens and evidence-based decision making to identify opportunities for improvement in the law enforcement programs of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service.

“Law enforcement professionals at the Interior Department work every day to ensure that everyone who visits our public lands and waters can recreate safely. Their service is critical in helping the Department realize its mission as they work diligently to solve complex crimes and keep personnel, visitors and our nation’s natural resources safe,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “I am grateful for the leadership of Deputy Secretary Beaudreau and the members of the Task Force who have spent months listening to the public and our workforce to develop recommendations that will help ensure law enforcement officers have what they need to do their job and help the Department lead the way towards community-centered law enforcement that ensures transparency and accountability.”

“The recommendations outlined in the Task Force’s report will help strengthen the unique connection that law enforcement officers have with the communities that they serve and continues the Interior Department's leadership in supporting law enforcement officers and strengthening policing practices to be more equitable and community-oriented,” said Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau. “It’s been an incredible honor to work alongside dedicated career Interior officials and law enforcement leaders who come to work every day focused on creating a better environment for their peers and the public that they serve.”

The Task Force held listening sessions, invited public comment, engaged with Tribal stakeholders, and coordinated various internal and external questionnaires to ensure that a wide range of perspectives were included in the new recommendations.

The recommendations build on the Interior Department’s progress to develop law enforcement policies that advance transparent and accountable policing practices. In October 2022, the Department announced new policies that established clear guidelines on use of force standards, required law enforcement officers to wear body-worn cameras, and restricted the use of no-knock warrants. The updates were part of the Department’s continuing implementation of President Biden’s May 2022 Executive Order to Advance Effective, Accountable Policing and Strengthen Public Safety.

For more information visit the Law Enforcement Task Force webpage.


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