ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Law enforcement officials have signed agreements, promising not to share DMV information with federal agencies like customs and border patrol.
Gates police chief James Van Brederode says he isn’t thrilled about it. He says he felt he was forced to sign the document prohibiting him from communicating DMV information with federal agencies.
“If you want to keep your computer, you have to sign this agreement that you’re not going to share any of the data with those from the federal agencies,” Van Brederode said.
The Gates police chief says there are about 500 police departments throughout New York state, and he says his is at least one department that didn’t want to sign the agreement.
“We could have called them out on this, we could have gotten the departments to say ‘yeah, we’re not signing it, come get it out of our cars’ and we could have totally crippled the state,” Van Brederode said.
He says police need access to DMV records, so they felt they had no choice but to sign. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be able to scan license plates or write tickets.
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services released this statement regarding the agreements:
“We continue to get certified agreements. As of yesterday afternoon, there were 59 agencies that have not signed. The deadline to sign was Saturday, January 11; agencies that did not submit signed agreements by that date had their access to DMV Photo revoked. Agencies that subsequently signed and returned agreements had access restored.”
Iman Abid, a spokesperson for the New York Civil Liberties Union, says law enforcement having to agree to not share DMV information isn’t hurting anybody
“We think that the response by law enforcement to the legislation itself is not necessarily a surprise,” Abid said. “But what we do understand is the safety precaution put into place to lmit the accessibility by law enforcement and access by ICE, and drivers license information and personal identity of undocumented individuals is crucial to the legislation itself is going to be implemented effectively.”