President Donald Trump signed a trio of executive orders he said would reduce drug crime and violence against police officers on Thursday shortly after the swearing-in of Jeff Sessions, his administration’s new top law enforcement official.
The Republican said one executive order would “break the back of the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation and are destroying the blood of our youth” by directing the FBI and other federal agencies to make targeting drug trafficking a top priority.
A second would create a task force that aims to reduce violent crime, while the third instructs Sessions, now the Attorney General, and the Department of Justice to develop a plan to prevent violence against police officers.
The executive orders mirror language Trump has repeated throughout his campaign. His administration pledged to end the nation’s “dangerous anti-police atmosphere” and significantly boost the ranks of the law enforcement in one of his White House’s first policy statements after his inauguration.
Pushing back against the “Black Lives Matter” movement that protested the police killings of unarmed black men, the Trump Administration said it would reduce violent crime in Chicago and other major cities.
Supporting law enforcement, the White House has said, also means building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico and deporting people in the country illegally who have violent criminal records.
“It is the first duty of government to keep the innocent safe,” the policy read, “and President Donald Trump will fight for the safety of every American, and especially those Americans who have not known safe neighborhoods for a very long time.”
Trump painted himself as the “law and order” candidate during the presidential race, while Democrat Hillary Clinton embraced the “Black Lives Matter” slogan in her social media messaging and said police violence is a wakeup call that should be “deeply troubling” for every American.
In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal has responded to the unrest that rocked the nation by calling for a 20 percent boost in the pay for thousands of state law enforcement officers - and also new training on community policing and when to use force.