I think I hate him already.
Police chief begins command
Web Posted: 04/18/2006 12:00 AM CDT
Vianna Davila and Amy Dorsett
Express-News Staff Writer
A week after protesters filled San Antonio streets to support the rights of millions of immigrants, the city's new police chief spoke out against the use of local police departments to enforce federal immigration law.
It was one of many topics Police Chief William McManus, along with City Manager Sheryl Sculley, discussed at a San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board meeting Monday, McManus' first day on the job after two years as chief in Minneapolis.
McManus, 54, started the day at police headquarters, where he was issued his police badge after receiving a blessing from Father Jimmy Drennan, a former officer.
"Give each of us a desire to unite," Drennan said. "If we work together, we can accomplish all things."
Despite the meetings with city leaders and media, the business of police work was never far from McManus' mind.
At Monday's editorial board meeting, McManus indicated the federal government has not adequately managed illegal immigration.
He said he has often spoken against proposals that would make local municipalities responsible for implementing immigration statutes, an opinion echoed by San Antonio Police Officers Association President Teddy Stewart.
"Local police departments have enough to do already," Stewart said.
"If we're spending all of our time picking up illegal immigrants and taking them wherever they have to go, we're going to have to hire a whole lot more than 500 policemen," he said, referring to an officer shortage in the department.
According to a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, state and local law officers would have inherent authority to enforce civil immigration law, but they wouldn't be required to do so, said Marshall Fitz, director for advocacy for the Washington-based American Immigration Lawyers Association.
The bill also would bar states and localities with so-called "sanctuary" policies from receiving funding associated with incarcerating undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes, Fitz said.
A number of communities across the country have declared themselves "sanctuary cities" where, according to Fitz, policies dictate that local officers don't question individuals about their immigration status while going about their police duties, and they don't report immigration status to federal authorities.
If forced to implement certain immigration laws, McManus said, "crime will skyrocket."
He forecast an underreporting of crimes by immigrants.
"People who are undocumented will fear police even more," McManus said.
Others argue that some undocumented immigrants are engaging in criminal activity now, and it's up to local law enforcement to join the fight to counter those trends.
"It's going to require all levels of law enforcement and government to cooperate," said Rick Oltman, western field director with the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
In San Antonio, officers are not required to demand proof of identification unless they suspect a person has committed a crime, Police Department spokeswoman Sandy Gutierrez said.
Officers also are not required to report individuals to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, even if they are suspected immigrants.
Jerry Robinette, deputy special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Antonio, said ICE teaches local law officers that it's within their discretion to call an ICE support center that helps officers determine if a suspect is an illegal immigrant.
But that call is made by police in conjunction with whatever criminal charge the officer is investigating or charging the individual with, Robinette said.
McManus also touched on numerous other topics, like shaking off any notions that being an outsider will affect his ability to tackle the job.
"As an insider you face the problem of having to lead, and to a lesser degree manage, the people you grew up with," McManus said. Sometimes it's the insiders who become a victim of their own culture, and "change is very difficult."
Still, he expressed concerns over a spate of officer-involved shootings in which SAPD officers fired their weapons six times in 13 days, killing three civilians.
He said he plans to investigate high-risk priorities, training and the use of less-lethal weapons.
McManus also said he'd address a reported manpower shortage, though he conceded he hadn't looked at the numbers closely. Currently, the department has slightly more than 2,000 officers.
Sculley discussed a proposal to find positions within the Police Department currently held by officers but that could be transferred to civilians. That would free up more officers who could be moved to patrol.
Sculley said making such a move would require more contract negotiations with the police union.
"The top priority is to get fully engaged with members of the department and the community," McManus said.
Other personal priorities for the chief include finding a home for himself, his wife and three young children.
He's already checked off a few goals, having attended a Spurs basketball game and finding a church home at St. Paul's on the Northwest Side. McManus is a devout Catholic who attends Mass daily.
More important, he said, he's finally fulfilled his goal to live in the Southwest, a far warmer climate than Minneapolis or his previous residences in Dayton, Ohio, where he was chief, or Washington, D.C.
"Bring it on," he said. " I have no problem with the food, the people, the weather. I'm happy as a clam here."
crime "rates" would, which is all this politicial POS thinks about.
The CRIME is already there!
Enforcing the law won't create crime - it will confront it, expose it, and hopefully resolve it.
But it will also document those crimes and make his stats look bad.
So, if I follow this right... Illegal aliens have certian cities where their illegal status is not determined by law enforcement. If law enforcement officers start questioning if they are here legally or illegally, then the illegal aliens won't report crimes. A group of people who won't report crimes is easy prey.
If you are illegal, you could be a victim of something illegal?
But, if they won't report it, the crime rate won't go up, because it won't be reported.
I just love that line. It is so stupid on so many levels.... The mind wobbles.
It's going to take more than local police forces to round them up and ship them out. This is why a wall is absolutely necessary because local police will never have enough resources to get it done.
He's not even fit to be a good street cop. The city should fire him on the spot.
Don't forget about a big catapult to send them back over once that wall is built!
Of course, to be humane, we would have to test it with cats, first...
I would think the number of cases closed/solved would increase too. And an increase in this stat is always a good thing.
this is fucking genius, first he tells us crime will skyrocket, then he says illegal aliens will under report crime. surely that will lead to a lowering of the crime rate if illegal aliens don't report crimes. why don't the journos call assholes like this on their stupidity?
He takes the Ostrich Approach to crime.
"If I close my eyes, it doesn't exist."
So we will do nothing.