The Parker Police Department is a nationally accredited agency by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) as well as the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP). The purpose of CALEA’s Accreditation Program is to improve the delivery of public safety services. A large component of their accreditation is the review of department policy and implementation. CALEA reviews our policies to ensure that they are in line with their standards for best practices for law enforcement throughout the country. In addition, all policies are thoroughly researched by staff before their presentation to the Town Administrator and Town Attorney.
The Parker Police Department’s Immigration Policy (4.27) went through the same process outlined above. In addition, Chief King met with several local Chiefs in regard to staff guidance when it comes to immigration status and administrative warrants (civil warrants issued by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE)-outside of a judicial process, not criminal warrants). The Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police issued a position statement about immigration status and this statement was also taken into consideration. The policy was presented to the Town Council in a Study Session in April of 2017. The policy was drafted by Parker Police staff, reviewed by the Town Attorney, approved by the Town Administrator and approved for dissemination on June 1, 2017. This policy was also posted on the Police Department’s website under the “Government Transparency” button in June of 2017.
Our Immigration Policy is in compliance with Colorado House Bill 1124 which prohibits the detention of people suspected of being here illegally simply at the request of immigration officials. Our policy also aligns with court rulings that say it is unconstitutional to jail someone without a warrant.
We strongly support the efforts of ICE to arrest, detain, and deport undocumented individuals who have committed felony crimes. However, immigration law is a federal responsibility and it is not our responsibility to assist with deportation efforts. Getting involved in immigration enforcement would be outside of our responsibility and mission, and would have a chilling effect on the willingness of individuals to report a crime or assist our investigations of crimes. In addition, there is no constitutional requirement for citizens to provide proof of immigration status when contacted by police officers, and therefore it is not our practice and would be inappropriate to make such inquiries or report the results of such inquiries to ICE. This should not be interpreted to mean that we will provide sanctuary to those who are violating immigration law. We will continue to work cooperatively with ICE, to include cooperating with our County’s jails to share information on the national origin of all arrestees who are jailed. We will also provide logistical support, whenever asked, to all of our federal partners who may be conducting lawful operations within our community.
The approach to this policy was to provide clear, legal advice to members of the police department that reduces criminal and civil liability exposure to staff members. Our policy is compliant with the CACP position statement, compliant with the U. S. Constitution and all statutory and case law on this topic.