President Obama announced on Monday that the federal government will try to reduce what he calls “simmering distrust” between police officers and the minority communities in the United States, according to The New York Times, in part by increasing the number of police officers wearing body cameras and issuing new rules for supplying them military-grade equipment.
His proposition, which comes shortly after the eruption of protests across the nation in the wake of the Ferguson shooting verdict, would see $263 million spent over the course of three years in an effort to expand police training and increase the use of body-worn cameras for monitoring interactions between police officers and the public, for the purpose of protecting both.
“Ferguson laid bare a problem that is not unique to St. Louis or that area, and is not unique to our time, and that is a simmering distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities of color,” said President Obama, as quoted by The Los Angeles Times.
“This is not a problem simply of Ferguson, this is a problem that is national. It is a solvable problem, but it is one that unfortunately spikes but fades into background,” he continued, as quoted by Mashable. “There have been commissions before, there have been task forces, there have been conversations and nothing happens, and I try to describe to people why this time will be different. And part of the reason this time will be different is because the President of the United States is deeply invested in making sure that this time is different.”
Shortly after the Ferguson shooting on August 9th, the president ordered a review of how the federal government supplies state and local law enforcement agencies with military-grade equipment. The review details the expansion of federal programs that help supply police officers with military-grade equipment for local policing.