Father Bruce Lewandowski, Priest at Sacred Heart and other clergy speaking about the importance of the new parish ID cards
On June 6, Mayor Pugh promised to instruct city agencies, including law enforcement, to recognize a parish identification card. In October, she and Archbishop William E. Lori joined BUILD leaders at member Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church to announce the launch of parish identification cards that will be recognized by city agencies. These parish-issued identification cards, issued by Catholic congregations with the full support of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, will be a form of non-government identification available to members of the congregations. The identification card will be recognized by Baltimore City law enforcement and other city agencies as an alternative form of identification in specified situations. Mayor Pugh committed to training police officers on the Parish ID within two weeks.
In the climate of violence that has plagued Baltimore over the last three years, immigrants have often hesitated to contact police to report crimes, fearing that police might involve federal agents which could lead to deportation of family or friends. Immigrants worked with BUILD and Sacred Heart to design the cards and spoke about the trust that would begin to be restored between the immigrant communities and the Baltimore Police Department. Father Bruce Lewandowski of Sacred Heart stated, "This is just one step toward making Baltimore a city of neighbors and not strangers.”