Chief Michael Noble announces the Maynard Police Department has adopted a new immigration policy in close collaboration with members of the town’s Human Relations Committee (HRC).
The idea for this policy was presented at the Special Town Meeting in Oct. 2019. Most of these items the police agreed to add or were already incorporated throughout the Department’s policies, however there was wording in the article regarding never working with federal agencies that the police could not agree to support. The Maynard Police Department began working with the HRC to draft the policy based on the input of both groups while still adhering to safety and legal requirements for the department. Combining them into one new policy also allows the public and officers to more easily find the information. It was approved by the HRC on July 13 and the Maynard Board of Selectmen, who serve as the Police Commissioners, on Tuesday, July 21, and officially implemented on Thursday, July 23.
“We saw the need for a policy that will continually ensure that all residents and visitors in our community feel valued, comfortable, safe, and are not afraid to report crimes to Maynard Police,” Chief Noble said. “Thank you to all who collaborated and worked diligently with us to create this important resource to protect the human rights of all who make up the Maynard community.”
The HRC was formed in Nov. 2019 in part with the help of the Maynard Police Department and works to promote human rights, personal dignity and positive relations between all residents and visitors to the Town of Maynard.
The policy consists of nine parts, ensuring:
- Equal treatment for all who come into contact with any Maynard Police Department personnel, and that individuals will never be asked about their immigration status by officers or employees of the department.
- No individuals will be arrested or detained based on an immigration hold-detainer or administrative warrant unless U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) provides a criminal warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause.
- No ICE agents will be allowed in the holding area of the Maynard Police Department unless they have a criminal warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause. The only exceptions for this rule are in investigation of certain felonies. Should this occur, the Chief of Police must give prior approval before access is granted.
- No officer or employee will give ICE information about the pending release of a person in custody, or personal information about a person who is known to and/or in the custody of the Maynard Police Department, unless the requested information is available under the Massachusetts Public Records Law. Exceptions to this rule may be granted for certain felonies and the Chief of Police will need to give prior approval before this information can be shared.
- The Department will consider and sign a U Visa certification request, which helps victims of certain crimes get a Visa to stay in the country, if an individual is the victim of a qualifying crime, and has been, is being or will likely be helpful in the investigation/prosecution of that crime.
- No officer or employee of the Maynard Police Department may participate in raids or other civil immigration enforcement actions.
- No officer or employee of the Department can perform the functions of an immigration officer.
- All parts of this policy are in compliance with federal law, and that the Department will continue to follow all federal guidelines.
- On a quarterly basis, the Maynard Police Department will report any instances in which officers have communicated or worked with ICE to the HRC. No personal information about the subjects of these interactions will be provided.
The policy can be read in its entirety here.