Green Bay’s police chief reassures city’s Latino, Somali communities

Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Green Bay’s police chief is taking new steps to calm fears among Latinos and Somalis following the presidential election.

The chief says the police department has been hearing from people concerned about their safety and possible deportation.

As an on-air personality and general manager of Las Mas Grande radio station in Green Bay, Gabriela Gamboa is in tune with concerns and fears in the Latino community.

“People just getting scared because they post a lot of things on Facebook, and it’s just really bad,” she says.

But following the election of Donald Trump, Gamboa feels many of their worries come from misinformation.

“People are like, ‘Whatever I read on the Internet is true.’ And that’s not true,” Gamboa says.

It’s why the latest move by Green Bay Police is exactly what she needed to hear.

This week, Chief Andrew Smith took to the police department’s Spanish Facebook page and posted a message in Spanish.

Mensaje del Jefe de Policía de Green Bay Andrew Smith

Recientemente, miembros de la comunidad hispana de Green Bay nos han contactado con algunas preocupaciones sobre si habrá algún cambio en la ley de enforzamiento con las recientes elecciones presidenciales. Los miembros de la comunidad nos han preguntado como la elección afectara su residencia y relación con el Departamento de Policía de Green Bay (GBPD). Quiero que todos tengan por seguridad que su departamento de policía se enorgullece en ayudar a mantener nuestra comunidad libre de delitos y desórdenes. Nosotros estamos comprometidos en trabajar juntos para mantener nuestra ciudad y residentes seguros sin importar el estatus residencial de la gente. Los oficiales están en nuestros vecindarios para proteger y servir a todos  y los oficiales siempre actuaran imparcialmente, sin importar su estatus.

Enforzamiento de Inmigración es el rol del gobierno federal. Agencias locales de policía como el GBPD están en el negocio para frenar la actividad criminal y mantener nuestra comunidad segura, y no para hacer cumplir las leyes federales de inmigración. Continuare trabajando junto con ustedes hacia una reforma migratoria de sentido común, así como continuaremos trabajando para que las tarjetas de conducir sean una realidad en Wisconsin.

Espero y usted continúe construyendo una relación con los oficiales del Departamento de Policía de Green Bay  en sus vecindarios. La relación es basada en confianza, respeto mutuo, y el deseo común de hacer que Green Bay sea una Ciudad donde quiere trabajar, vivir y criar una familia. Para el bienestar de todos.

Respetuosamente,

Andrew J. Smith

In English, it reads:

Message from Green Bay Police Chief  Andrew Smith

Recently, members of Green Bay’s Hispanic community have contacted us with concerns about enforcement changes in light of the recent presidential election.  The community members asked how the election will affect their residency and relationship with the Green Bay Police Department (GBPD).  I want everyone to assure everyone that your police department takes great pride in helping keep our community free of crime and disorder.  We are committed to working together to keep our City and residents safe regardless of people’s legal residency status.  Officers are in our neighborhoods to protect and serve everyone, and officers will always act impartially, again regardless of one’s status.

Immigration enforcement is the role of the Federal government.  Local police agencies like the GBPD are in the business of stopping criminal activity and keeping our community safe, not enforcing Federal immigration laws.  I will continue to work together with you towards common sense immigration reform, just as we will continue to work towards making Driver Cards a reality in Wisconsin.

I hope you continue to build on the relationship with the GBPD officers in your neighborhood.  That relationship is based on trust, mutual respect, and a common desire to make Green Bay a great City to work, live, and raise a family.  For all of us.

Respectfully,
Andrew J. Smith

The message has been shared and liked hundreds of times already.

“I want to make sure people know that the police department is here to serve everybody,” Chief Smith explains. “We’re not in the business of enforcing immigration laws. We’re in the business of keeping our community safe.”

“Police officers are doing something wonderful, just sending a letter to us,” Gamboa says. “To me, they do care about us, they are worried for us, and that means a lot.”

The chief also had the message translated for the Somali community.

Farriin ka socoto Taliyaha Booliska Green Bay Chief Andrew Smith

Dhawaan waxa nala soo xidhiidhay xubno ka tirsan bulshada Hispanic-ga ee ku nool Green Bay iyaga oo cabsi ka qaba is badalada arrimaha fulinta sharciga ee la xidhiidha doorashooyinkii madaxtinimo. Xubnaha ka tirsan bulshadu waxa ay na weydiiyeen sida doorashadu u saameynayso deganaanshahooda iyo xidhiidhka ka dhexeeya Booliska Green Bay. Waxa aan doonayaa in aan qof kasta u xaqiijiyo in Booliska Green Bay uu ku faanayo in uu caawiyo bulshada ku dhaqan magaaladan iyo in bulshadan ka illaaliyo danbiyada iyo qalalaasaha. Waxa naga go’an in aan si wada jir ah ula shaqayno dadka degan maaladan iyo in aanu dadkayaga illaalino ammaankooda iyada oo aan la eegayn xaaladda sharciga ee la xidhiidha degenaanshahooda. Saraakiisha booliska ee magaaladani waxa ay illaalinayaan una adeegayaan qof kasta, had iyo jeerna saraakiishu waxa ay ku dedaalayaan in ay ahaadaan kuwa dhexdhexaad ah, markale ayaan ku celinayaa iyaga oo aan eegayn xaaladda sharciga ee la xidhiidha degenaanshaha qofka.

Fullinta sharciga ee waaxda Socdaalku waa hawl u taala xukuumadda dhexe. Booliska magaalooyinka sida Booliska Green Bay hawlaha ay qabtaan waa sidii ay u joojin lahaayeen danbiileyaasha iyo in ay illaaliyaan ammaanka bulshadayada, maaha hawl u taala iyagu in ay fulliyaan hawlaha sharciga ee xukuumadda dhexe. Waan sii wadayaa in aan si wada jir ah idiinla shaqeeyo sidii loo heli lahaa in dib u habayn lagu sameeyo shuruucda socdaalka, sida aan u sii wadi doono in aan ka shaqayno sidii Kaadhadhka Gaadiidka lagu wado (Driver Cards) ay u noqon lahaayeen arrin laga xaqiijioy gobolkan Wisconsin.

Waxa aan rajeynayaa in aan sii wadi doontaan xoojinta xidhiidhka aad la leedihiin Booliska Green Bay ee xaafadihiina. Xidhiidhkaas oo ku salaysan kalsooni, tixgelin labada dhinacba ah, iyo danta guud oo ah in Green Bay noqoto Magaalo lagu soo hirto in laga shaqeeyo, lagu noolaado, qoysna lagu dhaqdo

Waad mahadsantihiin
Andrew J. Smith

Smith says he understands people are anxious about being deported, but he wants them to feel safe knowing officers will still enforce the law for those who break it but they’re not targeting anyone.

“I think it’s really important they remember the police department is here to serve them and protect them and keep them from becoming victimized as well,” Smith says.

Chief Smith plans to meet face-to-face with both community groups. A meeting for the Latino community is scheduled at St. Willebrord’s Church, 209 S. Adams St., on Wednesday, November 30, at 5:30 p.m., coordinated by Casa Alba. The police chief will be there with an immigration attorney and psychologist to explain what’s happening with federal immigration, answer questions, and try to calm fears following the presidential election.

Gamboa sees the efforts as reassuring.

“It brings me a little bit of peace,” she says, “and more calm.”