The Dallas Police Department's new training manual and department policy will include new SB4 requirements and immigration laws.
"A rough draft of the training manual has been sent in and it's waiting for approval," said Dallas PD Major Reuben Ramirez, who is writing the new material. "We are still writing the department policy. We have to work closely with Dallas city attorneys on the policy," said Ramirez.
The policy updates and new training will include immigration laws and requirements from SB4, also known as the "sanctuary cities bill." The highly controversial bill has been meet with major concern from law enforcement officers around North Texas.
Funding and time for training has been a concern, and officers also worry the bill will damage relations between immigrant communities and police.
"Our highest priorities as a department are the lives and property of our citizens," said Ramirez. "That priority will not change. While we know SB4 has created a sense of fear and uncertainty in many of our communities, DPD has been working to calm those fears through our UNIDOS and NPO programs, offering SB4 workshops designed to educate, dispel rumors, and encourage dialogue between police and our concerned citizens. So far our efforts have been received well and our feedback has been positive."
The bill is set go into effect Sept. 1.
"We are hoping the final draft of the training material is approved by late next week," Ramirez added. "The DPD is currently working to build its immigration policy and officer training instructions, once complete, we will begin training our officers on the logistical and operational enforcement of SB4. We want to make clear that victims and witnesses of crimes will be exempt from scrutiny under SB4."
As officers face the new task of enforcing immigration laws, the city of Dallas is tied up in litigation over SB4.
Dallas joined Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso County in massive lawsuit alleging the "sanctuary cities bill" is unconstitutional.