After a report from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Williamson County didn’t honor detainer requests, Sheriff Robert Chody wants to set the record straight.
"I want to make sure everyone knows that Williamson County honors all ICE detainers,” said Chody.
The report went out a few weeks ago listing all the agencies that weren’t cooperating with detainer requests. It listed Williamson and Bastrop Sheriffs' Offices as both not honoring a handful of requests.
Sheriff Chody said he was shocked.
"Frustration at first because I knew it wasn't true,” said Chody.
Now, the federal agency has posted the following correction on their website:
"Due to a data processing error, the Jan. 28 through Feb. 03 report incorrectly attributed detainers that appeared as being declined by Williamson County and Bastrop County were cases where the individual was transferred to another facility where they were released."
We're told the facility they were transferred to and then released from was Travis County.
"They specifically point out Williamson County as honoring all detainers and I want to make sure everyone understands that," said Chody.
After the incorrect ICE report, Chody said he got backlash from people in his county.
"The small group that thought I wasn't honoring detainers, they let me know it,” said Chody. "When it’s perceived that I'm not doing that from the community that elects me it’s a big deal and it’s not something that can be ignored and that’s why I'm trying to put that out, that information."
He said honoring ICE detainer requests is important to public safety in his county.
"As a law enforcement officer I have an oath, and my oath is to do what I think is right and that is to protect our community and to cooperate with law enforcement at every level, and I believe by honoring all those detainers we're doing that," said Chody. "We are honoring every ICE detainer that we get, we cooperate with our local law enforcement, federal state, at every level."
It's a similar view to surrounding counties.
Sheriffs' departments from Hays, Burnet, Blanco and Caldwell counties all tell KVUE Wednesday they do and will honor ICE detainer requests.
But it’s a drastically different point of view from Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez.
“It is my policy to focus on local public safety priorities and leave it to federal immigration officials to focus on federal immigration enforcement,” said Hernandez earlier this year.
But Sheriff Chody said he and Sheriff Hernandez work well together.
"We may not agree politically but doesn't mean we can't communicate about the issues at hand," said Chody. "I think it’s important that we have a working relationship no matter what our political views are.”
The Bastrop Sheriff released a statement saying they are “committed to mutual cooperation among all law enforcement”, and they too will honor ICE detainer requests.
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