Middletown’s police department in committing to training officers in new policing techniques and being more involved in the community, according to police Chief Rodney Muterspaw.
Responding to questions on immigration, undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities, Muterspaw wrote on the department’s Facebook page: “we will enforce the laws that are on the books in Ohio.”
The post came just a few days after Cincinnati declared itself a “sanctuary city.”
The term “sanctuary city” often refers to places that does not prosecute illegal immigrants for violating federal immigration laws.
Middletown will continue to work with federal immigration agents as necessary, Muterspaw said, but that doesn’t mean officers will profile people who may be undocumented.
“If we have someone in custody for a crime that is here illegally we will contact the proper agency to let them know who we have,” Muterspaw wrote. “Unfortunately, we are seeing people that are here legally go through constant ‘proof of citizenship’ questions every time they encounter law enforcement. We have to adjust and adapt to change.”
To help in those efforts, the police department will send three officers to the RITE (Racial Intelligence Training and Engagement) Academy.
The training offers more than information about race, he said, noting that officers and dispatchers encounter different cultures, classes and religions.
“We want these three officers to come back and train our other officers,” Muterspaw wrote. “America is different than (it was) 20 years ago. We have to be more prepared to deal with everyone, not people that just look like us. It just makes us a better, more effective department.”
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.