The Manteca Police Department was named on Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union as one of six law enforcement agencies in Northern California sharing data with a controversial private company that has made its information available to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.
The move, as described in the press release by the Northern California chapter of the civil liberties organization, could be running afoul of a California law that prohibits law enforcement agencies from sharing information with federal immigration authorities if that information is being used for the sole purpose of deportation.
But according to Manteca Police Sergeant Steve Schluer, the department hasn’t shared any information with Vigilant Solutions – a license plate reader database company that has a $6.1 million contract with ICE – for at least 18 months and has now taken steps to ensure that any information that they may have is not shared with the company moving forward.
“We are not in the business of violating California law,” Schluer said. “We had a vehicle that had a license plate reader on it, and that vehicle hasn’t been functioning for almost 18 months.