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North Carolina GOP Senate Bill Undermines Public Safety

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Key Law Enforcement Official: “Will make it more difficult to do our job”

Talk to any law enforcement officer and he or she will say the same thing–if you don’t have the ability to identify members of the community and people don’t trust law enforcement enough to call when they need help or to report a crime, then you can’t protect the community and everyone suffers.

In spite of this fact, Republican in the State Legislature are pushing a very dangerous bill, HB 100, that would undermine the community policing model being used by over six counties and major cities, like Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Durham, and Asheboro, to protect their residents. This model is anchored by a local identification card called the Faith Action ID that empowers law enforcement to quickly and correctly identify all residents and their current address–a critical tool for public safety that HB 100 would prohibit.

After meeting strong resistance as a stand-alone bill under the name HB 1069, Senator Norman Sanderson, a Pamlico County Republican, is attempting to sneak the bill forward by adding it to an unrelated jury-duty bill, HB 100, in the hopes of giving this effort the imprimatur of legitimacy.

Sanderson’s crusade goes against the fact that just last week the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association came out strongly and unequivocally in support of the Faith Action ID Program and condemned these efforts to halt the program as potentially undermining public safety.

According to Eddie Caldwell, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, “I do know that Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police in some areas find this ID to be very reliable. If that is taken away it will make it more difficult to do their job.”

“It is of great concern that Republicans in the State Senate would aggressively push a measure that is opposed by the very people responsible for protecting communities across the state of North Carolina”, said Tim Eakins, Director of North Carolina’s Voice. “This bill is a thinly veiled attack on the immigrant community of North Carolina and Senator Sanderson and others in the state legislature should listen to law enforcement on this matter and promptly remove this dangerous provision from HB 100.”