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Donnie Harrison for Wake County Sheriff – Policy Position Paper

Monday, August 29, 2022

For additional information contact: Donnie Harrison or Charles Hellwig at 919-590-1124


DONNIE HARRISON SHARES HIS POSITION ON IMMIGRATION ISSUES FACING WAKE COUNTY


On Saturday, August 27th, I announced that I will utilize comprehensive background checks for all people under arrest and admitted to the detention center to check for warrants and to verify identification. This will be a universal ‘Wants & Warrants’ program for the Wake County Detention Center. Many people have been asking questions, so I wanted to share with you my thoughts on this important issue.


The 287-(g) program is obsolete. We will build upon a program that will be universal in scope and will help keep our county safer. Our emphasis will not focus on the place of someone’s birth, but on whether or not that individual poses a threat to the safety of our community when they have been arrested and ordered by a Magistrate to be placed in the Wake County Detention Center.

My objective is to make sure we are not releasing dangerous criminals back onto the street who are wanted. We will work with City County Bureau of Identification to continue efforts to screen every single person regardless of age, race, sex, or country of origin. The background checks will be comprehensive to ensure the person entering the jail is who they claim to be, and we will use all technologies available to ensure any person entering the detention facility is checked for wants and warrants.


If a person who enters the jail has an outstanding warrant for arrest, we will hold that person until they have a hearing set by the judicial system, and a judge provides orders for extradition. The use of technology and computer power will help us verify identification and determine if that suspect is wanted in another jurisdiction.


I will pursue and enforce a policy that will ensure that everyone who is arrested by any law enforcement officer in our county and admitted into the detention center is positively identified, their criminal history is obtained and we will determine if that person is wanted.

I will also meet with the Police Chiefs and other law enforcement leaders in Wake County to establish a ‘real-time’ information sharing program that can be used by our patrol officers and detectives in the proactive investigation of criminal activity ongoing in our county. Working together, by pooling our resources, and taking advantage of the ever-evolving technology available to law enforcement is another way we can keep Wake County safer.


Keeping violent offenders out of our communities and accountable for the crimes they have committed will be my focus.


This program will remove any concerns that the Sheriff’s Office is profiling residents based on race or nationality. My top priority is making sure we have safe communities and that we are keeping dangerous criminals in jail and off the streets. I cannot do that alone. I need the help of our citizens to work with us in that effort. As your Sheriff, I will explore outreach opportunities to be more inclusive of all our citizens in meeting this challenge.


I have always been a true believer in the criminal justice system, and I still am. Immigration policy is the responsibility of the federal government, and it is not just broken – it’s in a state of chaos.

It is not the responsibility of local law enforcement with limited resources and no legal authority to fix it. It is the duty of every citizen to express their concern about this broken system and demand that our elected representatives do their job. When elected your Sheriff, I promise to do mine.


QUESTION: If you are elected Sheriff, will you bring back the ICE 287-(g) program?

ANSWER: No. Our country’s immigration system is broken. In fact, it is my opinion that our leaders in Washington do not care how that is affecting the people of Wake County and the crime and violence that has resulted. My focus will be on addressing crime and violence, not the immigration status of people in our country.


QUESTION: Will you honor ICE Detainers?

ANSWER: No.

I will honor all legally issued warrants and court directives that have been signed by a lawful judicial official, such as a judge or magistrate, as my sworn duty requires. Again, I will do all I can under the law to keep the people of Wake County safe.

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