San Marcos City Council may be discussing the adoption of a formal cite-and-release policy at its Feb. 18 meeting as members of the city's Criminal Justice Reform Committee move forward with a final draft.
A cite-and-release policy would give formal support for a law enforcement officer to issue a ticket for a court appearance, instead of taking someone into custody, as an option for some misdemeanors.
In addition to the use of cite-and-release, the drafted policy would require police officers to document information about offenders. Such information would include the type of offense and the age, race and the ethnicity of those who received citations in comparison to those who were arrested and jailed for the same offense.
The criminal justice reform committee, a group of city and elected officials in charge of reviewing the city’s ordinances and operating procedures relating to criminal justice, met Jan. 28. After almost three months since their last meeting, the committee discussed a final draft of the formal cite-and-release policy that may be presented to the full City Council at its second meeting in February.
The committee decided against recommending whether the policy that the council considers will be an ordinance or a resolution. City Council members part of the criminal justice reform committee agreed the entire City Council should discuss the issue and decide how they would like to formalize the policy.
Previously, a cite-and release draft was discussed by the full City Council at its Oct. 15 meeting.