DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – The Immigration and Custom Enforcement raids that have been happening in Kansas communities are now affecting local police departments’ relationships with Hispanic communities.
“We did assist ICE in part of their investigation when they came into town,” said Dodge City Police Department’s deputy chief Jerad Goertzen.
ICE was in Dodge City last week detaining undocumented residents.
“They called and asked for assistance,” said Goertzen, “and being as we are a law enforcement agency and they are as well, we provided our resources to them.”
Four police officers assisted ICE on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The way I understand it is the people they were searching for had outstanding warrants,” said Goertzen.
Despite contributing manpower, the department says they don’t have much information on ICE’s investigations, including how many people were targeted or the reason for the outstanding warrants.
“ICE has specific people that have warrants or that they were searching for, for whatever their investigation,” said Goertzen. “I don’t know what exactly as to what their investigation was, but they requested us in locating specific individuals in Dodge City.”
The department did say they never ask anyone about their residency status when policing around town.
One officer says the raids have hurt the goodwill she built with the local Hispanic community.
She said this could deter any undocumented residents from reporting crimes out of fear that they may be targeted next, and she’s not sure how she’ll earn back their trust.
In a Facebook post over the weekend, the DCPD stressed that ICE was not going door-to-door randomly look for undocumented residents and that the people they picked up had warrants for previous felonies or deportation orders.