Statement: Sheriff disregards comments and concerns from 40+ community leaders; continues pursuing renewal of ineffective 287g program

October 2nd, 2012

This statement is in response to Sheriff Rambosk’s comments yesterday after the letter delivery of 40+  leaders: 

Yesterday, a group of community leaders, including RCMA, area coordinator, Gloria Padilla and Professor Alexander Vernon, acting director of the Ave Maria Immigrant Rights and Asylum Clinic, called a press conference to deliver a letter to Sheriff Rambosk detailing concerns of fear and mistrust in the community due to the 287g program. The letter was delivered with more than 40 signatories, including representatives of various congregations, businesses and non-profit organizations. All together, the more than 40 leaders represent a vast majority of Collier County residents in the area.

Later in the day, only hours after the press conference was called, the Sheriff issued a statement that, in essence, completely disregarded the concerns of the signatories, including the Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project.  Instead, he reaffirmed his position in renewing an agreement that will continue eroding the little trust that local law enforcement has in communities in the area.

The Sheriff has not requested a meeting with us and to our knowledge, with anyone that signed the letter.If the Sheriff and the Collier County Department cared about the matters raised, a meeting would be called. We are all open to dialogue and conversation around matters that affect everyone in Collier County.

We are shocked that the testimonies and experiences of well-known and reputable organizational leaders and community members does not weigh on the Sheriff’s decision to terminate an ineffective program. We know that there will be long lasting consequences on our communities because of the perpetual fear they live in. We are not better off or safer if this agreement is renewed.

It is our continued hope that the Sheriff considers the alternative and terminates 287g, not because of one organization’s concerns, but because of the many, who represent countless of constituents in Collier County.

Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project 

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