04/25/2010

Ariz. cops to get training on immigration law

Balancing act for cops who must enforce new laws

East Valley Tribune

PHOENIX — Vowing to hold law enforcement accountable if a new immigration law is misused, Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday issued an executive order to the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to develop training to properly implement the law.

Brewer issued the order moments after signing SB 1070 into law. Lyle Mann, board executive director, said officials have not had sufficient time to review the executive order. But he said the board will do “all it needs to do” to meet the governor’s demands.

“Anytime there’s a new law, we have to start thinking about what we’re going to do,” Mann said. “This is a training issue and we do what we have to do to facilitate training of police officers. That’s our business. We’ll do what has to be done.”

The new law allows police officers to arrest those they believe are in this country illegally. Those in violation are subject to the misdemeanor offense of trespassing punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine before deportation. The bill raises concerns by some in law enforcement because it is unfunded and may lead to racial profiling. It also allows individuals to sue local police departments if they believe they are not fully enforcing the law. Municipalities could be fined between $1,000 to $5,000 per day in such instances. Brewer said that she hopes the law enforcement board will have a training program developed and returned to her by May.

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