FOP NEWS: FOP President Defends AZ Law Enforcement Will MoCo Sheriff fall in line with his Brethren?


Date: Sat, May 29, 2010 at 7:52 AM
Subject: FOP NEWS: FOP President Defends AZ Law Enforcement Will MoCo Sheriff fall in line with his Brethren?
To: Tom.Manger, Montgomery County Council <county.council>, countyexecutive, ike.leggett, "Lacefield, Patrick" <Patrick.Lacefield>

Chief Manger, will you fall in Line with the FOP, or will you be going against former and current police members?

Subject: FOP NEWS: FOP President Defends AZ Law Enforcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: TIM RICHARDSON

27 MAY 2010 (202) 547-8189

FOP PRESIDENT DEFENDS AZ LAW ENFORCEMENT
Profiling Charges are “Offensive”

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, stated his strong support for law enforcement officers in Arizona, who will soon be charged with enforcing the new State statute to combat illegal immigration and human trafficking.

“Our members in Arizona are justifiably offended with some of the assumptions that have been made by the media, pundits, and even elected officials who insinuate or state outright that these professional law enforcement officers will use the new law as a pretext to engage in unlawful racial profiling,” Canterbury said. “They are angry and rightly so.”

The statute, Arizona Senate Bill 1070, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, has been criticized by many outside of the State as being too harsh or unfair to persons unlawfully present in the United States and Arizona. From the perspective of Arizona law enforcement officers, it is extremely offensive to suggest that the law means officers will engage in racial profiling.

“Honest policy differences are both healthy and expected in the public forum, but some critics have really crossed the line,” Canterbury said. “In their haste to criticize the law, I do not think they have stopped to think that its very insulting to law enforcement officers to hear that they will engage in biased policing, as if these officers do not understand the concept of reasonable suspicion or probable cause.”

The law, which will go into effect this summer, obligates officers to make an attempt, when practicable, during a lawful stop to determine the individual’s immigration status if there is
a “reasonable suspicion” that the person is in the United States illegally. The individual may be arrested if there is probable cause to believe that their presence is unlawful.

“Law enforcement officers are trained in the police academy to recognize reasonable suspicion and probable cause,” Canterbury said. “These officers put their lives on the line for the public–we entrust them to make life and death decisions in a fraction of a second. You do not have to attack the law by attacking the integrity of these brave men and women.”

Milder critics of the statute argue that officers in Arizona will need additional training to ensure that they do not engage in racial profiling. The Arizona FOP State Lodge rejects this claim, stating that what is truly needed is additional funding for the 287(g) program, which provides State and local law enforcement with training and the authorization to identify, process, and when appropriate, detain persons they encounter during their regular, daily law-enforcement activity who are illegally present in the United States.

“This is a very unique and detailed training that cannot be taught in a 60 to 90 minute video,” said Bryan Soller, the State Lodge President of the Arizona State Lodge, said of the 287(g) program. “We need a clear direction on what proper documentation is, how to recognize forged documentation, the proper questioning format, and how to complete the proper ICE forms.”

“One of the genuine concerns that law enforcement does have with this new law is its potential costs,” Canterbury said. “Whatever these costs are, local governments, which are already on very tight budgets, will bear them.”

“The one thing I do know is that the Arizona law enforcement community will find a way to make SB1070 work,” Soller said.

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