Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the formation of the Law Enforcement Coordination Council (LECC) – the Department’s first unified law enforcement coordination body – to comprehensively assess a broad range of law enforcement matters, including its law enforcement policies and training. The LECC, which will be chaired by Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, will immediately begin comprehensive reviews that ensure more fair, equitable, and impartial policing, as well as officer and community safety. The LECC builds on several steps undertaken by DHS during the Biden-Harris Administration to promote best practices in its law enforcement activities.
“Law enforcement is a noble profession. Its personnel honorably protect and serve our communities across the country, and they do so at great personal risk,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “DHS is committed to ensuring our law enforcement personnel and our law enforcement partners have the training and tools to execute their mission, including by protecting civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy. The Law Enforcement Coordination Council will better enable the Department to combat current and future threats to our country, while ensuring the safety of both our law enforcement personnel and the diverse communities we serve.”
The LECC includes the leadership of every DHS law enforcement Component, as well as leadership of DHS Headquarters offices with advisory and oversight roles, including the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), Privacy Office, and Office of the General Counsel. The LECC will evaluate and respond to emerging law enforcement challenges and opportunities, comprehensively assess potential policy changes, facilitate information sharing, and promote best practices. The LECC will also coordinate closely with partners across every level of government, as well as with other key stakeholders.
The LECC will immediately form two sub-committees. The first subcommittee will undertake a review of Department-wide and Component-specific use of force policies – including those that govern de-escalation tactics, the use of chemical agents such as tear gas, and less-than-lethal munitions – to ensure our law enforcement officers and agents continue to execute their mission appropriately and lawfully, including in a way that takes into account health and safety and is mindful of sensitive locations. The second subcommittee will undertake a review of law enforcement training techniques and curricula, adhering to a set of key principles that include a rigorous protection of civil rights and civil liberties and respect for privacy, a data-driven focus on preventing implicit bias, the promotion of standards that prohibit profiling and enhance de-escalation techniques, policies that support mental health, and strategies to increase trusted community engagement.
These initiatives build on the Department’s longstanding commitment to continuously evaluate and improve its law enforcement-related practices and policies to ensure they are consistent with the law, align with best practices, and protect inalienable rights.