Police officers oppose written consent search form policy


Those most affected by Greensboro City Council’s decision to require police to use written consent seeking forms, the police, are staunchly against the policy.

This city council constantly talks about obtaining the opinion of the stakeholders, but in this case, not only the police officers, who are in the streets and will have to face the effect of this decision, not consulted by the city council, the Police Chief Brian James was barely allowed to speak at the virtual city council working session where the decision was made.

The official vote on requiring police officers to have consent seeking forms signed by the person giving consent will likely take place in September, but city council held a straw vote on August 11 which was passed by 6-3 to ask City Manager David Parrish to get ready. a resolution for the city council to adopt.

Amiel Rossabi, attorney for the Greensboro Police Officers Association (GPOA) sent a letter to Mayor Nancy Vaughan and all council members expressing unequivocal GPOA opposition to this initiative.

In the letter, Rossabi says: “I am informed that the city council discussions, alarmingly, have not focused on the safety of law-abiding citizens or on deterrence and crime prevention or on the safety of officers. GPD, who put their lives at risk every day to protect citizens. Instead, the city council chose a politically motivated and prejudicial move in order to respond to a relatively small, but noisy, group of anti-police activists. “

Rossabi notes that when James, shortly after being appointed chief, held community meetings across town, “community members who attended those meetings overwhelmingly demanded MORE police presence in their neighborhoods.”

He said, “Unlike the recognition by citizens and city council of the value of more and better policing, your vote to require written consents is a step that will increase crime and danger the community.

Rossabi also notes that after a nationwide search, James was hired as the new chief of police and “from a GPOA perspective, we haven’t seen a more qualified chief of police in over twenty (20) years “. But that this “ineffective and harmful police policy” interfered with the job of James in which he had been hired.

Rossabi says the written consent policy “will increase crime and put the community at risk. Experience, research, and real-world evidence from agencies across the country that have attempted to implement a written consent-to-search policy have already proven that this type of policy restricts the ability of police officers to tackle emerging crimes. by decreasing the large amount of illegal firearms. which are regularly seized during legal and consensual searches.

Finally, Rossabi notes that city council members have not been in law enforcement or have not taken basic law enforcement training and asks whether council members have researched “l ‘real impact of your vote’.

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