The Biden administration is posting a reward for anyone who can tell it how to find violent extremists in law enforcement.
The Department of Homeland Security has put $500,000 on the table to fund research projects aimed at determining how violent extremists are infiltrating the police.
“The goal of this solicitation is to contribute to a comprehensive and extensive understanding of insider threats facing domestic law enforcement agencies,” the request for proposals posted on grants.gov reads.
“Objectives of this effort will identify high quality data to understand the risks posed to the United States by the potential for violent extremist organizations or lone actors to infiltrate law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and other government institutions,” the RFP says.
Lawmakers in four states and Washington, D.C., want to give law enforcement agencies more power to exclude people with extremist ties from police ranks. But the proposals they thought were straightforward have encountered a thicket of obstacles.https://t.co/ErKDrnQqQP
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 11, 2021
The request for proposals comes as Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department is conducting an internal review to figure out how it can weed out extremists from the ranks of federal law enforcement, according to NBC.
Garland said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, “has met with the heads of all of our law enforcement agencies to determine how we can carefully vet our own employees.”
Garland said the Justice Department was “being mindful of First Amendment free associational rights, but at the same time being careful that we don’t have people in our ranks who commit criminal acts or who are not able to carry out their duties.”
The Department of Homeland Security is conducting a similar review.
The DHS RFP says that the federal government needs to know more about the threats posed by the police.
“Reviewing and analyzing research from fields such as criminology, mental health, psychology, and sociology will help determine gaps in current knowledge and counter the threats posed by violent extremists and violent ideologies to United States LEAs and the public,” it said.
DHS said it is seeking “recommendations for detecting, deterring, and mitigating the potential for insider threats facing domestic law enforcement agencies through infiltration by violent extremist organizations or lone actors.”
“Knowledge and findings from this research will be transferred to federal, state, local, and private organizations to enable education and awareness to reinforce a whole-of-society prevention architecture while respecting civil rights and civil liberties,” the DHS document said.
“These prevention efforts will equip and empower local efforts – including peers, teachers, community leaders, and law enforcement—to minimize a threat as it evolves while enhancing emergency preparedness and response.”
Garland recently called domestic terrorism “an emerging and accelerating threat” that was as much of a concern to him as foreign terrorism, according to NBC.
“Both forms of terrorism are of extraordinary concern to me. We never want to take our eyes off of what happened on 9/11 and the risks that our country continues to face from foreign-origin attacks on the homeland,” he said.
“Likewise, we have a growing fear of domestic violent extremism and domestic terrorism. Both of those keep me up at night,” he said.