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LAPD scales back its participation in Secure Communities

Los Angeles Police Foundation's 10th Annual Fundraising Gala

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Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told the L.A. Police Commission that his department is changing its policy toward the federal Secure Communities program.

The Los Angeles Police Department will no longer detain some undocumented suspects on behalf of federal immigration authorities, the L.A. Police Commission decided Tuesday.

The commission made that change at the request of LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. He told commissioners that L.A. should lead the way in correcting flaws in the federal Secure Communities program. Under that program, local law enforcement agencies automatically share fingerprints of anyone they arrest with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE then has the option of asking police to detain arrestees for 48 hours so the immigration agency can begin deportation proceedings.

LAPD Assistant Chief Michel Moore told the Police Commission the program is ICE's "primary engine for the identification and removal of criminal aliens and others who pose a threat to public safety." But the LAPD's six-month survey of ICE detetainer requests indicated that 10 percent were for people who had no criminal histories and were arrested on suspicion of low-level nuisance crimes like drinking in public or sidewalk vending. Based upon the department's survey,  about 340 fewer people would be detained each year.

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