TPD to create database of SB 1070 checks
In the wake of a settlement agreement between South Tucson and the ACLU, the Tucson Police Department will establish a database to track calls to immigration authorities required by Arizona's SB 1070.
TPD Chief Roberto Villaseñor said Tuesday that the department will create a database that will allow for tracking contacts with Border Patrol and other federal officials.
Late last month, the City of South Tucson settled a racial profiling claim filed by the American Civil Liberties Union by revamping the small municipality's policies on enforcing SB 1070.
One of the most important parts of the new policy, according to the ACLU, is a data collection requirement meant to help South Tucson police and the public make sure officers are policing without racial bias. It "requires that officers collect, and supervisors aggregate monthly, data about pedestrian and vehicle stops that result in a citation or arrest, including the perceived race of individuals stopped. Officers must document extra information about every immigration-related inquiry, including the reason for making the inquiry," the ACLU said in a news release last month.
Last October, Tucson police said the department "has no mechanism to track" all of the requests for immigration status checks made to federal authorities. Over 1,100 such requests were made in August, and they are a "daily occurrence," said TPD's Maria Hawke.
The City Council in November asked TPD to create a tracking method.
In August, 1,151 requests for immigration status were made through the TPD records office, Hawke said. Other status checks are made directly by officers, bypassing the records desk, she said.
Immigration checks for those who are arrested and taken to the Pima County Jail are made after being booked into the jail, she said.
"It's been absorbed into daily duties," Hawke said.
TPD has "no mechanism to track" the total number of immigration checks, she said last year. The department also does not track the number of checks that result in federal agents requesting officers detain a person for a suspected immigration violation, she said.
Hawke was fired by the department in April for "untruthfulness," after having been promoted from sergeant to lieutenant.