Tuesday, July 25, 2017



Phoenix police chief explains department's new immigration policy
Posted: Jul 24, 2017 6:36 PM MST
Updated: Jul 24, 2017 6:36 PM MST
By Donna Rossi


Phoenix police chief explains department's new immigration policy
'The Phoenix Police Department ... [is] committed to protecting and serving every member of our diverse community ...,' Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams says on the department's website. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The Phoenix Police Department implemented a new immigration policy starting just after midnight Monday morning.

The new policy has even undergone a name change, from immigration "enforcement" to immigration "procedures."

The changes in the policy stem from recommendations made by an ad hoc committee convened by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton earlier in the year and approved by the full Phoenix City Council in April.
(AZMEX I3 20-4-17 https://ktar.com/story/1536938/phoenix-police-to-not-take-part-in-federal-immigration-deportations/ )

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams admits politics played a part in the policy changes but she said she prefers to focus on her goal regarding the changes as they pertain to perception.
"I have to have the responsibility that the people we are protecting and serving feel confident in calling us, are not fearful of calling us," she said. "And we had some components in that policy, in my personal opinion, that created that dynamic."

That is particularly pertinent, said Williams, as it relates to the addition of a section dealing specifically with school resource officers.

According to the new section, "SROs or any other officers must not ask immigration questions or contact ICE for any purposes while on school grounds."

Williams said her officers were not enforcing immigration laws and the department had not received any complaints suggesting they were, but she had heard anecdotal stories from students concerned about going to a campus police office for fear either they or their parents might be deported.

"There was this assumption that when you ask someone a question about identification, some people in the community equated identification with you asking immigration status. So, we just kind of removed that dynamic out of the equation," said Williams.

The head of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association said he believes the new policy is 100-percent politically motivated.

"It's really dangerous when you start letting politicians and select activist groups dictate and determine the direction of police policy and enforcement procedures," Ken Crane, the president of the organization, said. "That's what's going to start getting people hurt out there. And it's dangerous when you cater to select groups to satisfy a political agenda. That's clearly what's going on here."

Crane also said the old policy was working fine, and he, too, reiterated that the department had not been accused of biased policing, racial profiling or, in particular, SROs enforcing immigration laws.

"Our SROs have not been engaging in immigration enforcement in schools," Crane said. "So, most of them, if you interviewed them would say, 'It's really not going to change how I do business.'"

The Phoenix Police Department respects the dignity of all persons and recognizes the sanctity of human life, rights and liberty. We are committed to protecting and serving every member of our diverse community and ensuring that crime victims and witnesses feel comfortable and confident when reporting crimes to our officers. As your chief, I commit to you that racial profiling will not be tolerated. We will continue to ensure everyone's safety by continuing our crime suppression efforts and focusing on crimes that most affect our local community. As always, we will be guided by state law which dictates our responsibilities when dealing with arrested people.

Williams agrees. While the policy in written form looks, feels and reads very differently from the old policy, Williams said the interaction the community will have with Phoenix police officers will not change. The policy will just reassure the entire community that they will be treated with respect and dignity.

Under the new policy, Phoenix police officers will still verify the immigration status of all people arrested.

The new policy also identifies a single point of contact for all immigration inquiries. Williams said this will improve data collection, record keeping and allow for the department to know exactly how many times Phoenix police have contacted or turned over arrestees to federal authorities.


Don't forget: "the decisions of who enters Mexico, are made by Mexico and only Mexico"
Luis Videgaray Caso, Mexican Foreign Minister
10 March, 2017


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