Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sheriff who nabbed serial killer tackles police reform in Congress

As a sheriff, Dave Reichert helped lock up the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history. Now, the moderate Republican congressman is taking a lead role pushing his party to impose more oversight of police departments.

The centrist Republican from Washington state, whose detective days resemble those of Clarice Starling in “The Silence of the Lambs,” is calling on Congress to consider an array of possible reforms, from body cameras for cops to stricter reporting requirements on police use of force. He wants to reassess whether training standards and hiring practices should change.
It’s a far more aggressive response to the issue than many others in the GOP are adopting. Typically, Republicans have taken a hands-off approach to police issues, arguing it’s an issue best left to local departments. But if it was up to Reichert, there would be an entire panel dedicated to this issue. The heightened tension between cops and black communities, which has resulted in the deaths of members of both, has changed everything, he said.

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