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Oklahoma City Is Not A Sanctuary City, Says Police Chief

Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty addresses the city council on January 31, 2017.

Oklahoma City’s police department is making no changes to its immigration policy following President Trump’s executive order against sanctuary cities.

Police Chief Bill Citty says while Oklahoma City isn’t a sanctuary city, his officers are also not proactive in enforcing immigration laws because it can erode trust in a community.

"If we're put in that position, that means a good portion of the public is not going to call us if a crime is committed. And we are here to serve. The police department serves all individuals, whether they're here documented or not documented."

Citty confirms Oklahoma City doesn’t fall under the category of a sanctuary city, because officers will work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, if needed.

He says the department follows state law which, under House Bill 1804 passed in 2007, requires notification to federal officials if an undocumented person is arrested for a felony or DUI.

But, he says his officers won’t arrest someone merely for being undocumented.

"We don't want to do anything that discourages them from calling us. We don't want to have somebody that's committed a rape or child abuse or something and they don't want to call us because their grandparents are there, they're undocumented and they're afraid that we're going to come into their home and ask them."

An executive order on immigration from President Trump called for federal money to be withheld from any so-called sanctuary cities who refuse to work with federal officials on illegal immigrants.

Watch the city council meeting below (Citty addresses the council at 1:39:50):


Michael Cross is the host of KOSU's Morning Edition.
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