Police chiefs believe Safe Communities Act bill could lessen crime in state

Political News

BOSTON (WWLP) – A bill known as the Safe Communities Act has gained the endorsement of several police chiefs. Police chiefs believe the bill would enhance public safety by preventing dangerous criminal immigrants from being released back into cities and towns.Two police chiefs associations expressed their support for a compromised version of the Safe Communities Act Tuesday.

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The new version of the bill would allow law enforcement to honor federal immigration detainer requests for up to six hours if detainees have a criminal record for serious violent offenses, like sexual assault, drug trafficking or abuse.“Targeting law enforcement efforts to protecting people and going after true criminals and not wasting time on people who are living among us as full members of our society but happen to not be legal residents,” said State Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose of Amherst.

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In July, the state’s highest court ruled that Massachusetts law does not allow law enforcement to hold people based solely on detainer requests, but some lawmakers say it doesn’t prevent other types of collaboration.“We believe that this newly modified bill will address the existing gap in the state of the current law,” said Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes.The police associations endorsed a competing bill filed by Governor Charlie Baker last summer, but did not withdraw their support Tuesday.The Baker Administration released a statement to 22News, saying several provisions of this new bill would force authorities to release dangerous criminals back into Massachusetts communities.

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