- Temple Police nab robbers of good Samaritan
- Newborn abandoned outside Killeen Fire Station
- Waco woman turns DWI arrest into felony by kicking officer in the face
- Fort Hood shooting cop thanks donors at banquet
Who's Job Is It Anyway?
The recent Arizona immigration law debate is also causing a debate in Arizona law enforcement. Time Magazine has a good piece on the issues facing Arizona law enforcement now that this law has been signed.
There's been no shortage of show-me-some-ID jokes around Arizona this week, but the association of police chiefs from around the state does have serious objections to SB1070, the controversial new state law that requires police to ask for papers from anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. The law's main champions certainly include some law enforcement figures, like Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the bill's state senate sponsor, Russell Pearce, a former cop whose son (also a policeman) was once shot by an illegal immigrant. But the official opposition of the Chiefs of Police Association — on the grounds that the law amounts to an unfunded mandate, that it could hurt community relationships, and that it distracts attention and resources from more serious criminality — shows that in Arizona, cops are just as divided about the law as everyone else.Of course, being in law enforcement in Texas, this issue has been closely watched here as well. Both sides of the debate have valid points. I think the Achilles heel of this law is likely to be this from Chief John Harris of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police:
"If we then arrest [illegals] on state charges, who will pay?"The answer to this is likely, if local law enforcement arrests an illegal alien on state charges, the costs of the arrest, prosecution and incarceration will be born by the state of Arizona. I guess that the state of Arizona has a big pile of money to spend on this problem.
Of course, the simple answer would be for the feds to step up enforcement of federal immigration laws. This is the reason there is a problem in the first place. An increase in federal enforcement efforts in Texas and California are believed to have pushed alien smuggling and drug smuggling into Arizona.
While I don't have any easy answers to this problem, it ought to be interesting to watch this play out.