Law enforcement advocates are essential to the criminal justice system. They play a vital role in promoting and improving law enforcement policies and practices to ensure that they are fair and just for all members of society. These advocates are often individuals who have a passion for social justice and want to make a positive impact in their communities. While all advocates are important, there are some who go above and beyond in their efforts to promote law enforcement accountability and transparency and improve the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. These extraordinary law enforcement advocates are essential for maintaining the integrity of the criminal justice system.
Individuals who possess an extensive understanding of policing culture and demonstrate social insight regarding the communities they serve set the standard for what is acceptable for a true law enforcement advocate. They are often former law enforcement officers, civil rights attorneys, community organizers, or concerned citizens who have a deep understanding of the criminal justice system and the impact it has on inner-city communities. These advocates work tirelessly to improve police legitimacy by educating about public safety and support for law enforcement while condemning police misconduct within their own ranks. They understand that trust is essential for effective policing and work to build bridges between law enforcement and marginalized communities. They do this by advocating for policies that prioritize community engagement and promoting initiatives that help reduce crime and improve public safety.
Demetrick “Tre” Pennie is a prominent example of an exceptional law enforcement advocate. He was born and raised in the inner city of Houston, Texas, during a time when community violence and drug use were prevalent in his neighborhood. Pennie was driven to become a police officer after he witnessed the tragic shooting death of his female cousin in a senseless act of violence. He joined the Dallas Police Department in 1999 and continued his education while serving in the department, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in counseling. Pennie’s commitment to education and public safety is further evidenced by his post-doctoral degree in higher education from Texas Tech University, where he conducted research on mitigating the outcomes of school and college shooting attacks.
Pennie’s research has brought attention to the challenges posed by online radicalization and emphasized the need for improved campus safety policies. He identified Black Lives Matter as one of the groups heavily involved in radicalizing college students across the nation. Pennie recognized that allowing radical ideologies to proliferate could destabilize social values, particularly for young people.
In addition to his research and work in law enforcement, Pennie has also taught college courses at two universities as an adjunct college professor. He also served as the president of the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation and later founded the Texas Fallen Officer Foundation. He has authored numerous publications on issues related to public safety and has played a significant role in influencing public policy on policing. Based on his nationwide efforts as the President of the National Fallen Officer Foundation, Pennie has become the national face of policy advocacy. Certainly, Pennie’s passion for public safety and his unique perspective makes him a valuable advocate for law enforcement and an important voice in the ongoing national conversation about policing and racial justice.
Pennie made headlines in 2016 when he filed a federal lawsuit against Black Lives Matter and later filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Google, and Twitter. He claimed that these platforms provided material support to terrorists and radicalized the shooter responsible for the tragic Dallas shooting attack that killed five police officers.
In recent years, Pennie has testified before the U.S. House Judiciary and the U.S. Senate Judiciary on issues related to crime, terrorism, and homeland security. He has shared his research on the origins of the “Defund the Police Movement”, the history and radicalized agenda of Black Lives Matter, and the effects of the George Floyd riots. Pennie has also been involved in politics, having run for Congress in Texas Congressional District 30 against Democrat congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson in 2020. Based on government records, he plans to run for Congress again in the upcoming March 2024 election, this time in Texas Congressional District 3. Pennie has remained steadfast in his commitment to law enforcement advocacy and his efforts to promote public safety throughout his career.
In conclusion, Demetrick “Tre” Pennie’s work is undeniably focused on protecting communities through his support of law enforcement. His exceptional efforts as an advocate for law enforcement and public safety are remarkable. Pennie’s dedication to education, research, and advocacy has made him a highly influential voice in the national conversation on policing and racial justice. By supporting advocates like Pennie who strive for accountability, transparency, and improved community relations with law enforcement, we can hope for a criminal justice system that is fair and just for all. His advocacy and leadership have had a significant impact and continue to inspire others to work toward creating safer, fairer, and more equitable communities.