NEWS RELEASE                                             

For Immediate Release
October 4, 2007
Contact: Michele Nicholson
Public Information Officer
  (850) 651-7420


     The Sheriff’s and Jail Administrators of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties have agreed to implement a “24/7 Criminal Alien Program” similar to that implemented by authorities in Irving, Texas.  This program includes local policies and procedures for law enforcement officers and corrections officers to screen and report suspected illegal aliens to the U.S. Government. 

    According to US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), “The Criminal Alien Program (CAP) focuses on identifying criminal aliens who are incarcerated within federal, state and local facilities thereby ensuring they are not released into the community by securing a final order of removal prior to the termination of their sentence. “

   Law enforcement agencies in New York have also used the Criminal Alien Program with great success.   The Suffolk County, NY sheriff stated (as quoted on, "Since we instituted this program, we almost tripled the amount of illegal aliens we turn over to the feds."

    Under the local program, agencies implement a streamlined system for identifying and reporting criminal aliens, which then allows ICE Detention and Removal Officers (DRO) to quickly identify the status of criminal aliens and begin removal proceedings.  In cases where criminal aliens are eligible for bail, DROs can place holds on them and transfer them to federal custody.

    The participating agencies used a variety of means in the past to report suspected illegal aliens.  This new program will ensure a standardized reporting system that will allow more efficient and expeditious processing.

    For more information contact Inspector George Collins at 651-7410.