Missouri senator calls on the Department of Justice for help in identifying police problems

William Barr

FILE – In this July 8, 2019, file photo, U.S. Attorney General William Barr speaks during a tour of a federal prison in Edgefield, S.C. Barr plans to promote a crime-fighting initiative Tuesday, Nov. 12 in New Mexico as the state struggles to curb some of the highest property and violent crimes rates in the nation. Barr is joining U.S. Marshal Service Director Donald Washington and other federal authorities in Albuquerque to announce the arrests of 300 fugitives suspected of violent crimes, according to the Justice Department. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Senator Roy Blunt is calling on the U.S. attorney general, William Barr, to aid local police departments in identifying problems.

Blunt is not calling to defund the police, but hoping the Department of Justice will be able to go in and quickly help by using consent decrees and pattern-or-practice reviews.

Those reviews determine and work to change practices of excessive force or biased policing.

“I think the pattern-practice review, provided that assistance, is not the federal government taking over a police department. It’s not the federal government using the courts, necessarily,” said Senator Blunt. “It’s the federal government using their expertise to come in and help you figure out how your department would be better. If you’ve got a systemic problem in your department that has been going on for a long time, that department is unlikely to be able to solve its own problems by itself.”

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