Houstonâ€™s largest police union, citing the death of six officers during Mayor Bill Whiteâ€™s tenure, called on the mayor and City Council this week to hire more officers, restore $14 million in overtime pay and overturn the long-standing policy of not questioning residents about their immigration status.Another Houston Chronicle article revealed the feelings of average cops about having to work with one arm tied behind their backs.
In a letter to White, Gary Blankinship, president of the Houston Police Officers Union, called last weekâ€™s slaying of veteran officer Henry Canales a "trifeca failure" of federal, state and city government to protect citizens and police officers from criminal illegal immigrants.
White responded with a news conference Thursday to make clear there would be no change in the departmentâ€™s policy on illegal immigrants. [Officers, mayor square off over immigration policy, Houston Chronicle, July 2, 2009]
"It's a strong issue," Blankinship said. "My guys get tired of dealing with the criminal aliens out here, and it seems like the severity of the crimes is escalating and that's frustrating to the rank and file."The good news here is that the Houston Police Union is openly condemning the city's sanctuary policy as dangerous to public safety and to officers on the job.
He stressed that calls for a change in the policy are not aimed at a wholesale roundup of illegal immigrants in Houston, a population the Greater Houston Partnership estimated last year at 420,000 in the 10-county Houston metropolitan area. It would help officers to weed out dangerous criminals in the undocumented community, he said.
Politically correct mayors tend to forget that immigration status can be an important factor in suspect behavior: illegal aliens may react violently when they believe they are threatened with deportation. For example, Houston Officer Rodney Johnson was murdered by an illegal he had stopped for speeding. Actress and mother Adrienne Shelly was killed by an illegal alien who feared his deportation if she reported him to the authorities. She had discovered Diego Pilco stealing from her purse in her office, and he strangled her to death to hide his status.
You can contact Mayor White at email@example.com with your thoughtful comments.