Greensboro to support "alternative ID" for immigrants

Police Chief Ken Miller signaled in a memo yesterday that the department is on board for a proposed "alternative ID" that would allow immigrants to obtain a form of identification that the police department would recognize, thereby reducing the need for an arrest in some cases.

The alternative ID is scheduled for launch in early July and will be formally announced at a community meeting on immigration hosted this Sunday at Saint Mary's Catholic Church. The impetus for the project — which mirrors a system used in Winston-Salem, Durham and numerous other cities around the country — grew out of immigrant community conversations with the police department facilitated by FaithAction International House. The nonprofit agency will be responsible for printing the IDs and working out a few small details, but the city is supportive and ready to move forward with the project. 

From the chief's memo: 

This initiative, while providing dignity and inclusiveness to immigrant residents in our community, will provide Greensboro Police officers with crucial information to better address and resolve legal and criminal concerns involving immigrants who may not otherwise have a valid form of ID. It can save tremendous time and resources by allowing officers to issue citations instead of having to make custodial arrests, keeping our officers in the field and available to respond to calls for service or doing proactive work.  

Read the full document here

YES! Weekly will have a full news story on the issue, including coverage of Sunday's meeting, in next week's issue. The alternative ID has been in the making since last year and would only be recognized by the Greensboro Police Department (and not, say, the Guilford County Sheriff's office or highway patrol) and is not a substitute for a drivers' license or other government-issued identification. The initiative is also supported by the city manager's office, Assistant City Manager Jim Westmoreland confirmed, adding that city council has been updated on the plan but will not have to vote to approve it.

No comments: