Commissioner Robert C. Haas Invited to Participate in White House’s Plan to Counter Violent Extremism Locally

Commissioner Haas promotes state and local law enforcement’s role in community safety efforts


Commissioner Robert C. Haas of the Cambridge Police Department was invited to the White House on Wednesday, where he provided insight on how the Administration’s recently-released Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States can be implemented locally. Commissioner Haas joined more than 35 senior and front line law enforcement officials in giving feedback, talking about how the federal government can best support efforts to implement the strategy in local communities. Participants also had the opportunity to inform officials like Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about their local needs and how the government can be most helpful, especially highlighting many of the activities occurring in their respective communities already.

"It is my deeply held view that the protection of the community is always of the utmost importance,” said Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert C. Haas.  “The prevention of harm to all members of the community is among one of the fundamental duties that is shared by every facet of the community.  Today's discussion recognized those fundamental principles and the importance of collaboration and coordination among all sectors in achieving those goals.  Most importantly, this cannot be done at the jeopardy or sacrifice of public trust and confidence, nor at the expense of personal civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy protections.”

Empowering state, tribal and local partners is an integral part of the Administration’s plan to protect communities against violent extremists, which builds upon existing local partnerships, promotes information-driven community-based solutions, and utilizes community-oriented policing efforts to counter violent extremism and violent crime regardless of ideology. At the event, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) briefed the participants on current analysis, engagement efforts around the country, and current efforts to ensure training is accurate and protects civil rights and liberties. 

The Administration’s strategy on countering violent extremism was developed with significant input from state, local and tribal law enforcement and members of community organizations. Working together with communities and local law enforcement has been successful in previous efforts to mitigate threats and improve public safety. 

Commissioner Haas stressed the importance of the role state and local law enforcement efforts play in community preparedness and countering violent extremist threats.

According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the American Jobs Act would allocate $5 billion for state and local law enforcement and first responders, creating 40,000 new law enforcement jobs around the country and mandating expedited hiring through the Department of Justice’s COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) Program.

“The Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States seeks to reinforce and embrace the values of our society and attempts to provide support by providing greater protections without compromising those values and guarantees.  I am hopeful that this plan will properly equip state and local law enforcement agencies so that they may play a necessary role in keeping our communities safe,” said Commissioner Haas.

Read more about the meeting, with coments from Commissioner Haas, in the Washington Post .

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Robert C. Haas

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