Chief says police do not cooperate with feds on immigration status


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By Jack Mayne

New Burien Police Chief Ted Boe made it clear that his department does not cooperate with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforcement activities, including relaying of information or detaining Burien residents to facilitate immigration enforcement efforts.

The Monday night (July 2) meeting also considered changing the Council meeting date to Thursdays at 6 p.m., but when that and other options all failed, the meeting day remains as is – 7 p.m. on the first, third and fourth Mondays.

Police say ’No’ to ICE
“We are bound by our written policies and directives as well as Burien and King County code in this matter,” Boe told the Council. Since Burien contracts with the King County Sheriff’s department, it follows that agency’s rejection of cooperation.

Councilmember Pedro Olguin asked if Burien Police have any outstanding civil detainers, an ICE “immigration hold,” one of the key tools U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses to apprehend individuals and Boe said neither the Burien Police, nor the King County Sheriff’s department, honors such federal detainers as they are prohibited by local and county ordinances.

Mayor Jimmy Matta said, “the country is in this time zone of hate, discontent from one area, sympathy in the other.”

“I continue to support a place where people that have been harmed can find justice regardless of their legal status,” the mayor told Chief Boe. “I am very happy at the report that you have given and the work that you are doing. Reiterating where we stand is always really good for our community. We can go back out and say we want people to call when they see any kind of criminal activity. Not to be afraid of calling and I know the police department will take care of business.”

Burien Police goals
Chief Boe also told the Council that the Burien Police is going to focus on three main areas.

“One is we are going to fight crime both proactively and reactively, using data analysis to target our efforts,” said Boe, adding it was important to address “criminal behaviors. It is a wrong message for police to drive by and not address criminal behaviors. We will address criminal behaviors…as we observe them.”

He said that every interaction with people “is a chance to build trust” and relationships are essential. Taking care of the members of the Burien Police is also important, “we have to take care of our own in order for them to be able to serve the community. Happy employees are going to treat your customers right. Our customers are your customers,” Boe told the Council.

Matta said he has seen police interacting with people and with their own and “I love to see that. It builds community. Seeing the officers smiling is just good to see.”

Public Works heavy workload
Public Works is having one of its busiest years in its history for capital projects. There are sixteen projects currently under design and seven under construction (including projects in the both the transportation and stormwater divisions). The Council approved the change, said Matta, but the individual member votes were not shown.

Of the projects under design, seven of them are also funded for construction. There are a couple of projects funded for design and construction which have not been started. This means Public Works will continue to be busier than current staffing levels can support.

City Manager Brian Wilson asked the council to approve removal of a management analyst position that has been vacant and the addition of a civil engineer staff position in the Public Works Department because of “work load demands” the engineering department is experiencing. The change would not mean budget increases because of changing the designation and from other staff savings in the current general fund budget.

“Of the projects under design, seven of them are also funded for construction,” the agenda outline said. “There are a couple of projects funded for design and construction which have not been started. This means Public Works will continue to be busier than current staffing levels can support.”

No change for Council meetings
There were proposals for the Council to move meetings to Thursdays at 6 p.m., which Councilmember Nancy Tosta said could be better for members and staff to communicate prior to a meeting.

Then a proposal to move meetings to Thursdays whenever there was Monday holiday.

All of the proposals failed on a 4 to 3 vote, so everything stays the same.

Presently and apparently for now Council sessions begin at 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays with fourth Monday being Council study session.

No change can be made without negotiations with the King County Library, which co-owns the building in which City Hall has its offices and meeting areas.

Councilmember Pedro Olguin said earlier times on a midweek day could help people with families attend meetings and become more involved. “Staying with the Monday meetings just doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Councilmember Lucy Krakowiak said her regular employment would prevent her from participating if the date and time were changed from Monday. Councilmember Bob Edgar wanted to keep the same day and time.

Councilmember Krystal Marx said her reason for changing dates and the would be to allow more and different groups to interact and make proposals to Council and not to deny any member attendance. She noted that the Council has been working well together.

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