May 18, 2015

Contact: Chris Schloesser/Marc Rehmann

(202) 225-8699

Edwards Statement on Obama Administration’s Decision to Implement Community Policing Safeguards

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) released the below statement today following President Obama’s announcement to ban federal transfers of certain types of military-style gear to local police departments.

“As a co-sponsor of the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act, I applaud the President for taking the appropriate steps to enhance accountability, increase transparency, and ultimately create better, innovative ways to serve the needs of law enforcement and our communities,” Edwards said. “We must strike the appropriate balance between protecting those officers who put their lives on the line and ensuring those communities trust them.

“Last June, I was only one of 62 House members (43 Democrats) to support an amendment that would have prevented the Department of Defense from distributing heavy weapons and vehicles to local police forces. While I applaud the efforts and courage our police departments continue to show each and every day, I feel that militarizing them will not solve the unrest that continues among our communities. I thank the President for leading on this ongoing issue of building strong relationships between law enforcement officers and those who they serve and protect.”