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Peoria police look into checkpoint complaints

PHOENIX -- Peoria police are reviewing a recent traffic checkpoint in which 11 suspected illegal immigrants were arrested.

The Jan. 29 checkpoint near Grand and Peoria avenues was intended as a commercial vehicle safety inspection.

"A second component of that stop that night was to make sure that drivers had their correct registration and licenses, and that everyone that was on the road was licensed and registered to be on the road," said Peoria Police spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto.

Peoria sent a mass e-mail to several other police agencies about the inspection, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Jacinto said it was ICE officers who showed up at the checkpoint and made the arrests.

She said that once her department began hearing complaints that the checkpoint was an immigration roundup, her department took action.

"Some of our command staff went out to the checkpoint and decided to close it down for the night," Jacinto said. "This in no way involved immigration checks. It in no way involved racial profiling."

Since the incident, Peoria Police Chief Roy Minter has been meeting with members of the Hispanic community.

"They have told us that they have been very impressed with the way we have been handling this and that we are reaching out to them," said Jacinto.

She said there are no plans for another commercial vehicle inspection.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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