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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a year ago, there was a topic discussing and listing the chapter where the DOC gets it's Special State Police authority. I can't seem to find it. Does anyone have the chapter and section which authorizes certain DOC employees as Special State Police Officers?
 

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here you go:

Chapter 127: Section 127 Special state police officers; powers and duties

Section 127. The governor, upon the written recommendation of the commissioner or the chairman of the parole board, may appoint any employee of the department of correction or the parole board, respectively, a special state police officer for a term of three years, unless sooner removed. Officers so appointed may serve warrants issued by the governor, the commissioner or the parole board and orders of removal or transfer of prisoners issued by the commissioner and warrants issued by any court or trial justice in the commonwealth for the arrest of a person charged with the crime of escape or attempt to escape from a penal institution or from the custody of an officer while being conveyed to or from any such institution, and may perform police duty about the premises of penal institutions. Such special state police officers of the parole board may also perform police duties: (1) when on official duty as a parole officer and in the company of an on-duty police officer or state police officer during the course of such police officers official duties; (2) to serve arrest warrants issued by any court in the commonwealth for the arrest of any person charged with any crime; (3) when arresting parolees pursuant to warrants or detainers of the parole board or transporting said parolees, over individuals who attempt or threaten to interfere with such special state police officers of the parole board in the performance of their duties; (4) on the premises of parole board facilities, which facilities shall include locations where the board is conducting a hearing or other board business; (5) including applying for and executing search warrants in the course of an investigation of parole violations, and upon complaint on oath that such special state police officer has probable cause to believe that the parolee, for whom a current parole arrest warrant is outstanding, is concealed within a house, place, vessel anywhere within the commonwealth or territorial waters thereof or vehicle of another; (6) including, after such applying for and executing search warrants in the course of an investigation of parole violations after notifying the appropriate local police department or the state police and upon complaint on oath that such special state police officer has probable cause to believe that stolen or embezzled property or property obtained by false pretenses, property which has been used as the means of committing a crime, property which has been concealed to prevent a crime from being discovered or property which is unlawfully possessed or kept or concealed for an unlawful purpose is in the possession or control of a parolee; and (7) including applying for and executing search warrants in the course of an investigation of parole violations, and upon complaint on oath that such special state police officer reasonably believes that evidence of a parole violation is concealed on such parolee's person or under such parolee's exclusive control. Whenever evidence of a crime has been discovered by such special state police officer, the appropriate local police department or state police shall be notified immediately. Such special state police officers of the investigative and fugitive apprehension unit of the department of correction may also perform police duties: (1) when on official duty as such a special state police officer of said investigative and fugitive apprehension unit, and in the company of an on-duty police officer or state police officer during the course of such police officer's official duties; (2) to serve arrest warrants or escape warrants issued by any court in the commonwealth for the arrest of any person charged with any crime; and (3) when arresting escapees pursuant to arrest warrants or transporting said escapees, over individuals who attempt or threaten to interfere with such special state police officers of said investigative and fugitive apprehension unit in the performance of their duties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
JM,

Thank you very much. My lazy rear should have looked that up myself, but I figured someone had it handy. Thank you :wink:
 

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Wonder if existing SSPO's get to transfer their powers if they become DOC officers. Hmmmmm.... :-k

In reading chapter 127, it looks as if the SSPOs get the fun job. --like a bounty hunter... yeah...

HEY, how much do you guys get an hour anyhow? :wink:
 

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We make about $55,000 to $60,000 a year without overtime. And no, you can not transfer your "SSPO" powers.

And further more, you don't need them unless you are working in a hospital detail or are on a outside patrol.

If you got ion the job with the DOC, why would you care if the DOC swore you in as a SSPO anyhow? It doenst make you any extra $$$ or anything.........
 

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Why would you even NEED any police powers in the DOC? DOC stands for Department Of Corrections. I look and look and can't for the life of me see anywhere in there where the word "police" appears. Conversely, SSPO stands for Special State POLICE Officer which is at the discretion and direction of the Colonel. If people think its "fun" to have this and want to carry it around like luggage from job to job, perhaps he should reign in these appointments and limit who he empowers. :shock:
 

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USMCTrooper @ Wed 03 Nov said:
Why would you even NEED any police powers in the DOC? DOC stands for Department Of Corrections. I look and look and can't for the life of me see anywhere in there where the word "police" appears. Conversely, SSPO stands for Special State POLICE Officer which is at the discretion and direction of the Colonel. If people think its "fun" to have this and want to carry it around like luggage from job to job, perhaps he should reign in these appointments and limit who he empowers. :shock:
The DOC in Massachusetts need the SSPO to cover them for duties that take them off the grounds of the facility (i.e. transports, hospital details, assisting on VFAU, and things along those lines). It is similar to having county CO's sworn in as Deputy Sheriff's that allow them to maintain custody of a prisoner off the prison's grounds. It is necessary in Massachusetts because CO's are not considered "peace officers" (like in NY for instance) which would automatically give them authority to act in a law enforcement capacity off prison property. Therefore a CO (county or DOC ) who is not sworn in as either a SSPO or a Deputy is an ordinary citizen without any legal authority to use force to retain custody of their prisoner. From the DOC SSPO's I've met almost all were transport people and the only reason they got the SSPO was because it's required of the position.
 

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Police powers are also used to arrest visitors who are smuggling contraband, creating disturbances or have outstanding warrants.

Frequently, inmates have to be returned to jail from house arrest, work release, community service, etc... Officers have to go into homes, businesses, etc... to accomplish this. Having police powers allows the officer to keep the scene safer than they could as an ordinary citizen.

Police powers also make it easier to take out criminal complaints against inmates who commit crimes during their incarceration.
 

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Well I've read Ch 127 Sec 127 over three times and I learned it actually divides itself into two categories: correctional and parole

For Parole they have slightly more authority than that granted to the correctional portion of the section. For those CO's that are NOT part of an apprehension team it seems they serve governor's warrants and retain prisoners from escape during movement-thats it. The last line of "police duty about the premises of the institution is clear like mud. What exactly is "police duty"?
"The governor, upon the written recommendation of the commissioner or the chairman of the parole board, may appoint any employee of the department of correction or the parole board, respectively, a special state police officer for a term of three years, unless sooner removed. Officers so appointed may serve warrants issued by the governor, the commissioner or the parole board and orders of removal or transfer of prisoners issued by the commissioner and warrants issued by any court or trial justice in the commonwealth for the arrest of a person charged with the crime of escape or attempt to escape from a penal institution or from the custody of an officer while being conveyed to or from any such institution, and may perform police duty about the premises of penal institutions."

Anyway, the point of this rant: after this thread opened I debated the issue with someone in the DOC. He swore up and down a cop is a cop is a cop I have police powers from your job and I am just like you After some mild correcting about the obvious (training, skill, Ch 90, Ch 22c) he recanted a little but still believed since he was an SSPO, he could issue tickets, make arrests for offenses JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER COP. :shock:

So now you know the rest of the story.....
 

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Basically the only reason a C.O. needs a police comission is for outside trips. Just in case the con tries to escape you can detain him or her. Besides on an outside trip you will be in posession of the con's mitimus which gives you custody anyway.
 

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USMC, the state correction officers are very different than county deputies. They do not hold campaign signs or donate to a politician to get their jobs - they are civil service.
I was a DOC CO for 8 yrs and never met anyone who confused the distinction between a SSPO-CO and a State or municipal police officer. They have a tough job and no inclination, unlike part time deputies, who have very little inmate contact, to pretend to be police officers. The way i remember it, being a SSPO was a requirement after 9 months working inside so that you could bring inmates to the hospital, court, family funerals, work the visiting room, fence patrol and vehicle trap. DOC officers are very different than part time deputies; if they want to be a police officer they take the police exam and go to a full time police academy- no back door shenanigans.. DOC officers and County C.O's are not political hacks like the typical part time deputy sheriff.
 

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Just for the record........I am a CO for the DOC. Just about every CO holds a state police commission. The ones who don't hold a commission do not hold one cause it has just simply lapsed. The state police have nothing to do with us obtaining our powers. Further more........I don't know anyone cares about having police powers......Is there more glamour or pay involved?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Strange that this discussion has turned out as it has. When I asked the question several months ago, I was actually doing a little research on how different agencies obtain a waiver of the education and/or training requirements for a special state police appointment. It seemed as if the DOC was able to obtain a special state police appointment, without the requirements of a SSPO academy or reserve acedmy plus college. I asked for the statue, to see if there were any different sort of provisions for providing this authority.
 

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Dear ejk55

Hey ejk55, who do you work for? I've been with the DOC for over 7 years and I have never heard nor seen the new jacks get sworn in out of the academy. Often times they do get sworn in shortly after getting to their institution, but like I said, I have never seen that and I've worked at 3 different prisons. If this is "something new" let me know.
 

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Well let me correct myself. As far as I know up until the last class or 2 the recruits were getting the powers upon graduating and being sworn in. Now I am not sure how exactly it works.
 

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And why are we all bickering over such a matter??

Thin Blue line ?? some say it only counts at funerals and wakes.

I like to think with all going on in today's world, we are all sticking a little bit closer to each other and not really caring if it says City Police, State Police, DOC etc.


Ok, I do like movies with happy endings :D
 

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smatson said:
Wonder if existing SSPO's get to transfer their powers if they become DOC officers. Hmmmmm.... :-k

In reading chapter 127, it looks as if the SSPOs get the fun job. --like a bounty hunter... yeah...

HEY, how much do you guys get an hour anyhow? :wink:
USMCTrooper said:
If people think its "fun" to have this and want to carry it around like luggage from job to job, perhaps he should reign in these appointments and limit who he empowers. :shock:
I assume the answer to my question is that one can transfer their powers. And, why not be able to transfer them? Shoot, just one more thing on my resume that has not expired! It is a plus to be able to carry it where you go. Or anything else for that matter! If I have skills to transfer, why not? Oi the anger! GRRRRRR!
 
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