May 24 (UPI) — President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order updating the use of force policy for federal law enforcement agents, unnamed sources familiar with the order said Tuesday.
The order is expected to require all federal agencies to revise their use of force policies, establish new hiring and data collection guidelines, restrict transfer of most military equipment to police departments and encourage tightened restrictions on chokeholds and no-knock warrants at the state and local levels.
The Justice Department, meanwhile, has already issued a memo requiring federal law enforcement officers and agents under its purview to intervene and help a detainee if they see a fellow officer using excessive force.
The memo, dated Friday, started circulating this week among rank and file agents with the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive, U.S. Marshals Service and Bureau of Prisons.
Garland wrote that the updated policy draws from the 2020 National Consensus Policy on Use of Force, drafted by a coalition of eleven major law enforcement groups representing federal, state and local law enforcement officers.
“The policy reflects the excellence we have come to expect from the department’s officers and agents while protecting their safety and the safety of the people and communities we serve,” Garland said in the memo.
“I am grateful to the department’s law enforcement components for your time and valuable input throughout this process,” Garland said.
The policy will take effect on July 19. It does not order state and local police or federal law enforcement agencies outside the Justice Department to follow a similar standard.
The memo states that federal law enforcement officers also have a duty to act if they see someone who needs medical care.
“It’s the modernization of policing, and you need to update policies to reflect what’s going on in our country,” Larry Cosme, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, told The Washington Post.
“Every officer that’s a good officer is always going to try to do their jobs to the best of their ability, and this reinforces what the men and women in federal law enforcement are already doing,” Cosme said.