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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Lemme get right to it, and it's going to be a bit of a novel. I'm sure some of you are familiar with the National Park Service's Law Enforcement Rangers, but for those not, I'll outline our job/situation before getting to the question I have...

We're federal law enforcement officers who attend the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, GA. We're spread across the country in areas of jurisdiction anywhere from parks of a couple acres, to ones larger than some small states.

In Boston specifically, we've got about 50 acres of concurrent jurisdiction to include many historical buildings and grounds in Charlestown, Downtown Boston, and other outlying areas. We also have some road in Charlestown out of which we get the majority of our arrests, DUI, drugs, weapons etc... It generally amounts to a lot of physical security with some foot, road (and recently, boat) patrol depending on how pro-active the specific officer is.

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The question I have, and the issue I have run into is when dealing with state warrants. As a federal officer, who because of state law, has no authority to enforce WMS warrants, I get into a sticky situation often.

As an example, about two weeks ago, I stopped a guy who ended up having a felony extraditable warrant out of Dallas,Texas for armed robbery. Now, the normal procedure for us, for any state warrant is to call up Boston PD and wait for them on the stop to either come get the guy or not, and if they don't, we can't lock them up. What I'd like to be able to do is handle the warrant myself, without having to bother the Charlestown BPD guys with whom I personally have a pretty decent working relationship with. I know they generally have their hands full and don't need us giving them more work, especially on a Friday or Saturday night.

Going back to the fella with the warrant out of Texas, I tried everything I could to get my Assistant US Attorney to hold onto him for Dallas, even suggesting we charge him federally for "fugitive from justice" under 18 USC, but they didn't want to go for it, telling us to hand him over to Boston. The unfortunate part of the story due to a few things out of my control (and I don't want to get into details) is that the guy ended up back on the street.

Have any of you had any experience with Federal agencies and cross-deputization, appointment as Special State Police, or some sort of MOU for acting on state warrants? I'm not looking to grab up more authority and start patrolling the projects or anything, but I'd like to be able to make sure a guy I grab with a good warrant gets locked up, and not set free because of some cheesy technicality/miscommunication with another agency.


Is there any advice you guys can give on how to get this going? It would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the novel :)
 

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I'd imagine the local guys are pretty busy keeping the townies in check...have you tried calling the local barracks for assistance? I don't reckon the locals would have a problem with staties assisting you on a warrant, especially when their bosses want to keep them in-service and not tied up processing the warrant arrest. DISCLAIMER: I do not know the current local/state gestalt back east, so you back-easters' jump in and adjust as necessary :D.
 
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Under state law, only certain occupations can receive a SSPO commission; campus, railroad, and hospital police, for example. You could petition the BPD to be appointed special officers under Rule 400A so you don't have to wear the ridiculous uniforms (red stripes) required under Rule 400; that would give you state arrest power on park property, for warrants and criminal offenses.

Or, you could petition the Suffolk County Sheriff (Cabral) to be appointed as deputy sheriffs; most of the larger private colleges do this, and there's an agreement with BPD that the powers are only good while on-duty, plus some other restrictions.
 
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I would say, Look into how Amtrack Police handles thier WMS warants that they grab, They attend the same academy at Camp Glynco as you do and they just transport to to the transit PD for booking and processing, in fact they even call the T for their WMS checks.
They have SSPO commissions under the railroad police statute;

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/22c-51.htm

They also have federal authority, but from what I understand they very rarely use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That would require a $450 whack for each person, plus posting a bond with the city treasurer;

http://www.cityofboston.gov/cityclerk/constable.asp

I think deputy sheriff is the way to go here.
yowsa...that's an interesting suggestion I've not heard. I can't find any specific documentation about what powers exactly a constable has, do you have that at hand?

But yeah, it seems that barring the EPO's starting cross-deputization again, Suffolk County Sheriff is probably the way to go...now if I can just get my supervisors on board. They don't even want us doing traffic stops...ugh.

Thank you very much for the posts guys, good to have a community here to bounce things off of. If I can be assistance in regards to my little federal world, toss me a PM anytime
 

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They don't even want us doing traffic stops...ugh.
Well, your situation that you described above tells you why they don't want you doing traffic stops. Not because they're bad supervisors, but on the contrary. Because there seems to be some convoluted authority issues that forces you to "catch and release", which is not conducive to good police work.
 

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Getting cross designated as a deputy sheriff is the way to go. I know there are a few fed agents sworn in as deputy sheriffs. If you go down that road I would suggest you get your management to work out an MOU with Suffolk County. I have seen the paperwork and it is geared to school and hospital agencies. Depending on the time you make the stop you could arrest the guy federal, on the fugative charge, and the turn him over to a local agency once you get the official turn down from the AUSA. The nice part of being fed law enforcement is that you can "un-arrest" which is not allowed under Mass law.
 
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yowsa...that's an interesting suggestion I've not heard. I can't find any specific documentation about what powers exactly a constable has, do you have that at hand?
Constables have the same powers of arrest as police officers; the fact they hardly ever use it is more a reflection on their individual common sense as businessmen than any limitation of the law.

As I said, I think deputy sheriff is the way to go; there's no jumping through hoops with application fees or posting bonds, all you need is the blessing of the sheriff. You guys will never be confused with BPD as far as uniforms & cruisers, so I don't think the BPPA will have any problem with it, which is an important point if you want to maintain a good working relationship with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, your situation that you described above tells you why they don't want you doing traffic stops. Not because they're bad supervisors, but on the contrary. Because there seems to be some convoluted authority issues that forces you to "catch and release", which is not conducive to good police work.
those issues really only come up when dealing with state issued warrants, etc...

In dealing with anything federally issued, or crimes within my jurisdiction it's not bad at all. we routinely get DUI's and such in our area which work out fine. Believe me, there are several reasons behind them not wanting us to do traffic stops, and the possibility that we'd have to "catch and release" isn't one of them :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is there a federal statute for OUI? Or do you prosecute it under the assimilated crimes act?
for the National Park Service, we have 36 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 4.23. The main issue I have with the current way things work on our end is that there is no standardized reporting to the RMV. Despite the Boston Globe getting a hold of this and writing an article on it, and the RMV and District Court pledging to fix the problem, I''m not sure if it's been handled yet. What was happening previously was we would convict someone of Operating under the influence (BAC over 0.08), or Refusal to submit, and they'd get a fine, but never lose their license or anything else. With the amount of well-to-do folks that live in the yard, it was easy to brush off, with it never showing up on their driving record.

I've been informed recently that this was fixed, however I am skeptical, as I've charged a fellow with Refusal to Submit, which should carry an automatic license suspension (90 or 180 days or something like that if I recall?) by the RMV, but a recent check showed him still active, so..../shrug

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TITLE 36--PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC PROPERTY

CHAPTER I--NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

PART 4_VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC SAFETY--Table of Contents

Sec. 4.23 Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

(a) Operating or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle
is prohibited while:
(1) Under the influence of alcohol, or a drug, or drugs, or any
combination thereof, to a degree that renders the operator incapable of
safe operation; or
(2) The alcohol concentration in the operator's blood or breath is
0.08 grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 0.08 grams
or more of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. Provided however, that if
State law that applies to operating a motor vehicle while under the
influence of alcohol establishes more restrictive limits of alcohol
concentration in the operator's blood or breath, those limits supersede
the limits specified in this paragraph.
(b) The provisions of paragraph (a) of this section also apply to an
operator who is or has been legally entitled to use alcohol or another
drug.
(c) Tests. (1) At the request or direction of an authorized person
who has probable cause to believe that an operator of a motor vehicle
within a park area has violated a provision of paragraph (a) of this
section, the operator shall submit to one or more tests of the blood,
breath, saliva or urine for the purpose of determining blood alcohol and
drug content.
(2) Refusal by an operator to submit to a test is prohibited and
proof of refusal may be admissible in any related judicial proceeding.
(3) Any test or tests for the presence of alcohol and drugs shall be
determined by and administered at the direction of an authorized person.
(4) Any test shall be conducted by using accepted scientific methods
and equipment of proven accuracy and reliability operated by personnel
certified in its use.
(d) Presumptive levels. (1) The results of chemical or other
quantitative tests are intended to supplement the elements of probable
cause used as the basis for the arrest of an operator charged with a
violation of paragraph (a)(1) of this section. If the alcohol
concentration in the operator's blood or breath at the time of testing
is less than alcohol concentrations specified in paragraph (a)(2) of
this section, this fact does not give rise to any presumption that the
operator is or is not under the influence of alcohol.
(2) The provisions of paragraph (d)(1) of this section are not
intended to limit the introduction of any other competent evidence
bearing upon the question of whether the operator, at the time of the
alleged violation, was under the influence of alcohol, or a drug, or
drugs, or any combination thereof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Many thanks guys, with the information you guys have supplied, I've been able to bring it up to my Supervisor and we're going to look into it and hopefully try and get something going.
 

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Almost every legislative session there is a bill filed to give federal agencies the ability to get SSPO powers from the state. It got out of committee once a few years ago but died because no action was taken on it. Its back on this session but going nowhere. A copy is below -- House 1402
An Act authorizing certain federal personnel to exercise police powers in the Commonwealth.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:



SECTION 1. Chapter 147 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 2 the following section:-
Section 2A. All federal law enforcement officers who have successfully completed the required training program for their respective agencies which qualifies them to hold the position "GA-1811", so called, including but not limited to bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms special agents, drug enforcement administration special agents, federal bureau of investigation special agents, immigration and naturalization service immigration inspectors, special agents and patrol officers, United States customs service special agents, inspectors and patrol officers, United States marshals service deputies, United States postal service police officers and inspectors, and United States secret service special agents, shall have and exercise throughout the commonwealth, certain powers of police officers.
Such federal agents that have earned this police officer status shall only be allowed to:
(i) make a warrant less arrest, in accordance with section 98A of chapter 41, for any felony committed in the agent's presence;
(ii) make a warrant less arrest, in accordance with section 98A of chapter 41, for any felony committed outside the agent's presence, provided that the arresting agent has probable cause to believe that the person so arrested had committed such offense;
(iii) conduct constitutionally permissible warrant less searches incidental to an arrest made pursuant to the provisions of this section;
(iv) direct and serve a valid arrest warrant in any part of the commonwealth in accordance with section 23 of chapter 276;
(v) make a warrant less arrest, in accordance with section 28 of chapter 276, for any misdemeanor committed against a person or property.
Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, no federal law enforcement agent who has earned this police officer status shall have the power to arrest as authorized by chapter 90.
Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, all federal law enforcement agents who have earned this police officer status shall have the same privileges and immunities as every sworn police officer of the commonwealth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
hmmm, on an interesting note, that seems to show that our Special Agent does in fact have state arrest powers, since it stated "including, but not limited to these agencies" So it actually looks like we have a way to go about this right now...even if our lowly 0025's can't. We could always call in our special agent, and have him arrest on our observations/investigation.

interesting find, thanks!

EDIT: my bad, I see that hasn't been passed by the House yet, so it's on the block as you said.
 

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If it passes there could still be some room on this. Postal Insepctors are 1811s but Postal Police are not yet both are mentioned in the proposed legislation. There could be some room there to argue that you would be covered. Even if it goes as is you are right that you can always call in an 1811 - thats what they get the availibilty pay for.
 
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