SB 1070 costs Tucson Police $123,000 for training

SB 1070 costs Tucson Police $123,000 for training

CREATED Oct. 29, 2012

Reporter: Claire Doan

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV/AP) – It’s no secret that SB 1070 has cost more than $2 million for Arizona to defend in court, but now we also know how much it costs police to enforce the controversial law.

Nine On Your Side has confirmed that the Tucson Police Department (TPD) has spent $123,000 on training. Phoenix Police spent $360,000 on training. The Associated Press reports that seven agencies that responded to its informal survey statewide, including Tucson and Phoenix police departments, spent at least $640,000.

The courts have only upheld the most controversial provision of SB 1070, the “show me your papers” part allowing officers to check a person’s immigration status, while at a traffic stop or another encounter.

Lieutenant Fabian Pacheco said they spent the money on overtime to train more than 1,000 officers employed with TPD in 2010 right after SB 1070 passed.

“Clearly, SB 1070 is a way more complex, controversial issue than all the other laws that have passed through the years," Pacheco said.

Nine On Your Side took the costs to Governor Jan Brewer’s spokesperson.

“We don’t believe this has resulted in a significant change in operations for those agencies,” said Matthew Benson, the Director of Communications. “Even taking at face value the $640,000 cost, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the overall cost associated with illegal immigration.”

Benson cited an estimated $1 billion that Arizona paid in 2011 for educating, jailing and providing healthcare for illegal immigrants.

While the cost for training officers is not a “drop in the bucket” for TPD, Pacheco said they had no choice but to fully prepare for properly enforcing SB 1070.

“It reinforces the seriousness of this issue. It’s very controversial and we want to do everything that we can to make sure our offices are fully trained,” Pacheco said.

TPD said the costs are not reoccurring, because SB 1070 is now part of the mandatory training for every new officer.

Legal costs for SB 1070 have surpassed $2 million, paid mostly with private donations.