Dear PERF members,
2020 has been a turbulent, contentious year. Some hoped the election might be a turning point, but the reality is that we are still deeply divided, not only between voters who supported one Presidential candidate over the other, but also between police and many of the communities we serve.
A moment like this cries out for a leader who can bring our country together – and bring communities and police together, too. I have reason to believe Joe Biden may prove to be the unifying figure we need.
Understand that “we don’t do politics” here at PERF, which is why I didn’t write this column until after the election. PERF has always been an independent organization that values diverse and thoughtful viewpoints — and I suspect this column may spur some of those diverse opinions, which I welcome.
As I think back over the past 30 years, there is hardly a major criminal justice issue in which Joe Biden didn’t play a significant role. My experiences observing and working with him over that time provide some insights into what the Biden Presidency could mean for our country and for policing.
Above all, I have always known Biden to be a problem-solver – someone whose first instinct is to bring together people with differing views, work to find common ground, and come up with solutions that are practical and effective. Here are just a few examples from his years in the U.S. Senate.