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Policing - Support For Police

commissions including funding national

Two national commissions on crime were established in the mid-1960s to determine how to improve policing in America—President Lyndon Johnson's (1908–1973; served 1963–69) Crime Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, and the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. The commissions found major police weaknesses including abuse of power, brutality, harassment, and a lack of training on how to control riots. They also noted the poor relations between police and community Well-known battles between police and antiwar protestors became common in the 1960s. A notable example was the Chicago riots in the summer of 1968 during the Democratic National Convention. (AP/Wide World Photos)
members, racial discrimination in arrests and hiring, and continued problems of corruption in some departments including New York, Denver, and Chicago. Among some two hundred recommendations, the commissions called for improved training programs and the hiring of minorities.

To bolster local police departments, Congress created the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) in 1965 to provide federal funding to improve policing. Over a ten-year period billions of dollars went to the various states to improve police departments. Part of the funding purchased new weapons including tanks, armored cars, computer systems, helicopters, and riot control equipment. Funding available through LEAA quickly rose from $63 million in 1969 to $700 million in 1972.

U.S. Supreme Court justice Earl Warren made several landmark decisions between 1961 and 1966 affirming the rights of suspects. (AP/Wide World Photos)

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