SAN JOSE (KCBS) – San Jose police officers need to focus on building relationships with the communities they patrol rather than indiscriminately enforcing federal immigration laws, Police Chief Chris Moore said Thursday.

Illegal immigrants arrested for serious or violent offenses could still face deportation, Moore said, but the potential loss of 300 officers due to budget cuts did not afford him the luxury of alienating whole sections of the city.

“Now more than ever, I need to focus my efforts in the community, on partnerships with the community so that they report to us crimes, so they don’t become victims of exploitation,” he said.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Moore’s remarks during a teleconference of the Police Executive Research Forum, a self-described progressive policy organization, drew praise from immigrants’ rights advocates and condemnation from conservatives.

Barbara Coe with the conservative group, California Coalition for Immigration Reform, insisted that crime rates would drop if local police departments did not engage what she sees as selective enforcement of the law.

“If the immigration laws were being enforced as they should be, then a lot of these problems would not even be on the horizon,” Coe said.

Moore said he wanted to address a distrust of the police department among undocumented immigrants that has led to some crimes going unreported.

“At the end of the day, we’re not going to be able to succeed as a police department and protect our communities unless people are willing to talk to us,” he said.

Poncho Guevara, executive director of Sacred Heart Community Service, applauded Chief Moore’s inclusive philosophy.

“There’s a deep yearning for having a really constructive relationship with the police department to make sure that they do actually live in a safe community,” Guevara said.

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Comments (3)
  1. Roadrunner says:

    This man is sworn to uphold the law and the Constitution of the United Stares. If he can’t do his job, he should step down.

  2. Minuteman Project says:

    Chief Moore is not the problem. Chief Moore is not the reason local law enforcement cannot fully enforce immigration laws.

    “the potential loss of 300 officers due to budget cuts” is the problem.

    Jim Gilchrist, President, The Minuteman Project

  3. Brittanicus says:

    The Tea Party that is grown into a membership of tens of millions, will rid the corruption from Washington, which also includes the collusion in State legislators. Currently the Tea Party is discussing the–BOYCOTT–of corporations and businesses that used veiled threats to overturn the harsh policing laws and illegal immigration enforcement in Arizona. America cannot afford to pander to economic immigrants, that has risen to over 20 million. Instant citizenship for babies of pregnant Mothers to slip through the US Border Patrol, to intentionally take advantage of US taxpayers. Thousands who have evacuated the great State of Arizona, will be en route to California, Nevada, Colorado and of course Utah. Astronomic costs in Sanctuary States and the complete and utter determination of the government not building the–REAL–fence or pushing unfunded mandates in catering to illegal immigrants and forcing taxpayers to pay for their health care, education and a inundated prison system. With the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted on the low income, uneducated foreigners–would go a long way in solving America’s movement towards insolvency. Stealing an Americans job is criminal and should be classed as a felony. Years back our kids started their working life while in high school flipping burgers, to aid in getting a college education–now these jobs have been given to adult criminal aliens.


    Other illegal aliens and their families will search for other States to settle. Southern States are less welcoming and will certainly be located, with Tennessee and more rigid enforcement States ready to hand them over to ICE. Others illegal immigration laws, didn’t get enough votes to pass. It seems that a majority of those corporations who signed the US Arizona Chamber of Commerce viewed threat letter to the State Senate were in the construction industry. In actual fact Contractors and Sub-Contractors are a very large dirty business owner hiring illegal alien workers, while 10 million US citizens and people with legal residency are searching for jobs. Anybody whose interested in stopping the illegal alien invasion to save their jobs and stop illegal aliens pilfering the welfare entitlement programs, should contact your local TEA PARTY. Watch for illegal alien voting in elections, using the absentee ballot that is easy to forge as in New Mexico, New York and–OTHER??