FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - When asked by Councilwoman Rozalyn Sherman (Ward-2) during last week's meeting on April 11, if there is any benefit to Franklin becoming a sanctuary city, Deputy Police Chief Richard Grammar, says "in my personal opinion, I don't believe so."
Franklin Township's Police Department follows the rules set forth by the New Jersey Attorney General's office, according to police officials.
There is no single definition for a sanctuary city, as it is a broad term usually used to describe a city or town that limits its cooperation with federal immigration enforcement actions.
In his presentation to the mayor and council, Grammar cited Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive 2007-03, "you can go on the website and read them, and see what it is [directives], it prohibits us from asking immigration status for a whole host of reasons except for very specific instances."
Police Chief Lawrence Roberts along with Grammar stressed to the council how they always have and always will follow the Attorney General's guidelines.
"We've all seen a lot of this in the press lately, for either side and I just think it really comes up to what's the local police department's philosophy," Roberts said. "It comes down to resources, what's your mission, what are your goals, and at the end of the day, we have always followed the community policing philosophy. Citizens first, if someone is calling for a first aid call we are not worrying about immigration status, we are going to make sure you get the proper aid and you are going to get help. At the end of the day, it's about preserving life and protecting, it really is."
TAPinto Franklin Township received video from Brian Lee a township resident whose Facebook page says, "The presentation was missing some vital information: such as what the Franklin Township Police would do if ICE, without a warrant signed by a judge, asks them for people's private information or to detain someone."
The video below contains presentation from the FTPD to the Mayor and Council (first few seconds of video is choppy, but clears up very quickly):
An article published by NJ.com on Sunday asked John Tsoukaris, Newark Field Office Director of Enforcement and Removal Operations at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement his view on sanctuary cities.
How do you view so-called sanctuary cities?
"We still will target individuals in those cities as we do in any other city. That will not stop ICE from targeting certain individuals who are public safety threats or targeted for arrest and removal by ICE. I just want to add that all our operations are targeted. Meaning that we are looking for specific individuals that we know and we're targeting them because of their background. I know there is a lot of reporting in the media recently about raids and ICE being at a bus station for example. But that's totally not true. All our operations are targeted and people that are spreading that in the community are spreading fear for no reason."
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