After months of advocacy from San Jose immigrant advocacy organizations, civil rights groups, and service agencies — the San Jose police is withdrawing their participation from the controversial Homeland Security/ICE program called “Operation Community Shield.” Initial news of the program drew a widespread backlash from immigrant communities who said placing two ICE agents within the SJPD would cause waves of distrust in local law enforcement. Groups such as Sacred Heart Community Services, SIREN, PACT, and De-Bug organized public community responses to share their message that community trust is an important feature of a smart public safety framework. Today, the SJPD sent out the following press release.
San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore has announced that the San Jose Police Department is concluding its partnership with Homeland Security Investigations as part of Operation Community Shield (OCS).
The San Jose Police Departments involvement in OCS began on June 24th as part of Chief Moores plan to halt an alarming increase in gang violence in the city. Other components to the plan involved redirecting the 38 member METRO Unit to focus on All gangs, all the time. The METRO Unit has since made over 315 arrests. Approximately 70% of the arrests have been gang-related. Chief Moore also directed the Patrol Division to deploy additional officers as daily gang suppression cars to further decrease gang violence. Continue reading