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Embracing President's Policing Task Force Recommendations Is A Work In Progress

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Near the end of 2014, after months of escalating tensions over police killings of young black men, President Obama formed the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Laurie Robinson co-chaired that task force.

LAURIE ROBINSON: I absorbed all three events as tremendous tragedies that shattered the families, shattered the communities and actually America as a community. But I think what we have learned since Ferguson, as America has struggled with these problems, is that they are problems of American communities.

MARTIN: In 2015, the task force issued a final report listing its recommendations - build community trust, encourage police transparency and accountability. There are about 18,000 American police departments. Robinson says that makes widespread reform difficult. But...

ROBINSON: Some 50,000 officers have been given training on key task force themes, like this fair and impartial policing and on procedural justice. And nearly 5,000 law enforcement personnel, according to the Justice Department, have been trained on the task force report.

MARTIN: Robinson says this past week's shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota show there's still a long ways to go. And yesterday, President Obama said if anything good can come out of these tragedies, he hopes that, quote, "communities around the country take a look and say - how can we implement these recommendations?" Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.