Senator George Latimer (D-Rye) believes immigrants should not live in fear of calling the police.
Latimer, the Democratic nominee for Westchester County Executive, is proposing state legislation to create a POLICe program for Westchester that would provide five grants to law enforcement agencies to create police organization liaisons in immigrant communities.
Latimer's proposal comes in the wake of the failure of the Westchester County Board of Legislators to override County Executive Rob Astorino's veto of the Immigrant Protection Act.
“People living in our communities should be able to call the police in an emergency without fear of putting themselves or their loved ones in jeopardy because their legal papers might not be in order," Latimer said.
The liaison positions would allow civilian employees of the participating police departments to work with members of the community who are immigrants within that jurisdiction, regardless of federal immigration status, and the local law enforcement agency to ensure the needs of the immigrant community are being properly met by law enforcement without stigma, fear or reprisal, Latimer said.
By creating the positions as civilian employees of the police departments, Latimer said he intends to shield those employees from the reporting and joint participation mandates that may apply in federal immigration documentation matters.
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