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LA Police Chief: Don’t Arrest Illegal Aliens

An editorial from the Los Angeles Chief Of Police, via a giddy Los Angles Times:

The LAPD fights crime, not illegal immigration

The outgoing chief of police urges the department to keep focusing on community outreach.

By William J. Bratton

October 27, 2009

… Keeping America’s neighborhoods safe requires our police forces to have the trust and help of everyone in our communities. My nearly 40 years in law enforcement, and my experience as police commissioner in Boston and New York City and as chief in Los Angeles, have taught me this.

Yet every day our effectiveness is diminished because immigrants living and working in our communities are afraid to have any contact with the police. A person reporting a crime should never fear being deported, but such fears are real and palpable for many of our immigrant neighbors.

This fear is not unfounded. Earlier this month, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that 11 more locations across the United States have agreed to participate in a controversial law enforcement program known as 287(g). The program gives local law enforcement agencies the powers of federal immigration agents by entering into agreements with Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Although many local agencies have declined to participate in 287(g), 67 state and local law enforcement agencies are working with ICE, acting as immigration agents.

Some in Los Angeles have asked why the LAPD doesn’t participate. My officers can’t prevent or solve crimes if victims or witnesses are unwilling to talk to us because of the fear of being deported. That basic fact led to the implementation almost 30 years ago of the LAPD’s policy on immigrants, which has come to be known as Special Order 40. The order prohibits LAPD officers from initiating contact with someone solely to determine whether they are in the country legally. The philosophy that underlies that policy is simple: Criminals are the biggest benefactors when immigrants fear the police. We can’t solve crimes that aren’t reported because the victims are afraid to come forward to the police.

The idea of engaging all members of the public in reporting crime and identifying criminals not only helps us with short- and medium-term goals of reducing crime; it helps improve relations with community members. We all have an interest in helping our young people develop into healthy, educated and law-abiding adults. Breeding fear and distrust of authority among some of our children could increase rates of crime, violence and disorder as those children grow up to become fearful and distrustful adolescents and adults. That is why the Los Angeles Police Department has not participated in 287(g) and the federal government is not pressuring the department to do so.

Americans want a solution to our immigration dilemma, as do law enforcement officials across this nation. But the solution isn’t turning every local police department into an arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Police Foundation published a report in April titled "The Role of Local Police: Striking a Balance Between Immigration Enforcement and Civil Liberties." The report confirms that when local police enforce immigration laws, it undermines their core public safety mission, diverts scarce resources, increases their exposure to liability and litigation, and exacerbates fear in communities that are already distrustful of police.

The report concluded that to optimize public safety, the federal government must enact comprehensive immigration reform. As police chief of one of the most diverse cities in the United States, and possibly the world, I agree. As I leave my position as leader of the LAPD, I will encourage my successor to adopt the same rigid attitude toward keeping Special Order 40 and keeping the mission of the men and women of the department focused on community cooperation instead of community alienation.

Working with victims and witnesses of crimes closes cases faster and protects all of our families by getting criminals off the street. We must pass immigration reform and bring our neighbors out of the shadows so they get the police service they need and deserve. When officers can speak freely with victims and witnesses, it goes a long way toward making every American neighborhood much safer.

William J. Bratton is chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Aren’t illegal aliens criminals? Why isn’t it important to get them off of our streets?

Oh, well. Goodbye, Los Angeles. You were fun while you lasted.

By the way, does Mr. Obama have an amnesty czar yet?

Or is that Eric Holder’s job?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “LA Police Chief: Don’t Arrest Illegal Aliens”

  1. How is someone supposed to uphold LAW if he does not understand cause and effect with regard to ..umm upholding LAW or not?

    You know.. I wonder if someone could pervert the 14th amendment to get off in LA because others who break the law aren’t prosecuted? Just saying..

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    Well then ……… “I want to report a crime happening right now. You are not enforcing the laws you swore to uphold,. Hence, you are the one committing the crime!”

    Turn your arse in to the jail and do the time for your crime!!

    What a idiot!

  3. caligirl9 says:

    Los Angeles is as gone as SF is … you can’t even get the worst ones deported until they murder someone, and then of course they end up in the “criminal justice” system where they will continue to be cared for on your dollar.

    SF is even considering an amnesty program for illegals caught without a driver’s license. No arrest, and they are given time for a friend or family member to come fetch the car. No impounding, no impound fees to punish the precious little darlings …

  4. beautyofreason says:

    Either enforce the law or change the law – but don’t let it become a useless, partial convenience for the Democratic agenda.

    The Dem’s goal is to give all 14 + million illegal immigrants in the country full legal status and government benefits as American citizens, by any means – including subterfuge and weakening the criminal justice system. They are asking the American taxpayer to foot the bill for a population equivalent to a small country – all to support a group of people who do not give taxes to our government and are largely unskilled laborers who broke our laws to get here.

  5. Gila Monster says:

    “We all have an interest in helping our young people develop into healthy, educated and law-abiding adults.”

    So the first thing we teach our “young people” is it’s okay to ignore certain laws, right Chief?
    Yeah, that’ll work out well! What a friggin’ hypocrite!! Talk about completely moronic logic, … geeez.

    Caligirl, unfortunately I think you’re right. LA is likely lost and probably headed down the same path as San Franlibtard.

  6. canary says:

    Sotomayor? Our town had dozens on the payroll til one stabbed another one. (outside of work) The city decided it wasn’t their fault since they gave fake ID’s. When they don’t speak English, that’s a hint. When I was a teen working, a bunch of them, couldn’t speak English. Same thing . One pulled a knife at another, (at work) and then they all got fired. And alot of illegals really would go around and work hard, but now most make living stealing, and are not grateful to be here.

  7. BillK says:

    According to Bratton, apparently some illegal acts are more illegal than others.

    Or, all LAPD officers should apparently now consult their superiors as to precisely which laws they are allowed to arrest people for breaking.

  8. GL0120 says:

    “A person reporting a crime should never fear being deported, but such fears are real and palpable for many of our immigrant neighbors.”

    Once again, piddling details are ignored.
    Only “Illegal” (gasp, I used the “I” word!) immigrants need to fear deportation.


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