On October 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Standards for Certification that are a result of President Trump’s June Executive Order 13929, Safe Policing for Safe Communities. The Executive Order’s goal is to ensure that, together, we continue striving to provide transparent, safe, and accountable delivery of services to our communities.
Pursuant to authority vested in the Attorney General by the Executive Order, he has designated the Montana Public Safety Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) as an independent credentialing body.
Montana POST will certify an applying law enforcement agency if it determines that the agency’s policies comply with two mandatory safe policing principles:
- Adherence to applicable laws.
The applying agency maintains use of force policies that adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws.
- Prohibition of choke holds.
The applying agency maintains use of force policies that prohibit the use of choke holds, except in situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law.
Draft Use of Force Policies that comport with the Executive Order can be found here for agencies’ consideration and use.
Certification is a prerequisite to a law enforcement agency’s eligibility for Department of Justice discretionary grant funding. Agencies will be required to obtain certification by January 31, 2021 in order to be eligible for federal funds in 2021. Montana POST will maintain a list of certified agencies within its jurisdiction, and submit the list to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (or “COPS Office”), which will serve as the repository for the list of all eligible law enforcement agencies. For additional information, please review the COPS Safe Policing for Safe Communities Fact Sheet.
Montana POST has developed an efficient method for agency certification. Agencies may utilize POST’s “Template for Confirmation Letter of Applying Agency” that will serve as the agency application for certification. The template is in word format and may be cut and pasted onto an agency’s letterhead for submittal. Each agency may use the wording in the template, insert the name and address of their agency, the name of the agency administrator, the agency phone number and the date submitted to POST. Upon review and approval pursuant to POST’s Policy and Procedure, POST will issue a letter to the applying agency.
Other identifiers requested from agencies applying for certification include:
- Originating Agency Identifier (ORI)
- Employee Identification Number (EIN)
- Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number
If you have questions about the numbers above, you may contact staff at the Montana Board of Crime Control (BOCC) for assistance. The contact information for the BOCC is [email protected] or (406) 444-3604.
Please feel free to contact POST if you have other questions.