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  • Special police???

    how do pierce transit and spokane transit security guards have arrest powers? does washington allow for the use of SPOs? and if so, can private entities use SPOs?

  • #2
    Originally posted by TacMac View Post
    how do pierce transit and spokane transit security guards have arrest powers?
    According to Pierce Transit's website, security officers have authority to issue Notices of Infraction pursuant to RCW 7.80.050. While they cannot make arrests, per RCW 8.80.060, they may detain subjects "for a period of time not longer than is reasonably necessary to identify the person for purposes of issuing a civil infraction."

    While I can't find it explicitly stated, I infer a transit authority is a "Limited authority Washington law enforcement agency", meaning it can commission officers to enforce a subset of the law. Edit: See article linked in post #9.

    does Washington allow for the use of SPOs?
    Washington uses the term "Specially commissioned Washington peace officer" but it means someone issued a limited commission by a "General authority Washington law enforcement agency." An example would be a parking enforcement officer commissioned by a municipal police department to issue only parking infractions.

    can private entities use SPOs?
    The only private entities authorized to maintain police forces are railroads, under RCW 81.60.
    Last edited by Seventy2002; 05-31-2014, 03:17 PM.

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    • #3
      Interesting information!

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      • #4
        This might help:

        http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=10.93.020

        It specifically lists transportation commission as a limited authority law enforcement agency whereas a specially commissioned peace officer may hold a limited commission or be fully commissioned.
        "Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
          This might help:

          http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=10.93.020

          It specifically lists transportation commission as a limited authority law enforcement agency whereas a specially commissioned peace officer may hold a limited commission or be fully commissioned.
          so couldnt private entities also get special police commission from a law enforcement agency?
          Last edited by TacMac; 05-30-2014, 05:52 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TacMac View Post
            so couldnt private entities also get special police commission from a law enforcement agency?
            They could and they are called special conservators of the peace.

            Just kidding. This is a mutual aid statute, but I believe the premises is that in order to be specially commissioned peace officer you have to have attended an academy approved by the criminal justice training commission.

            http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=10.93.090
            "Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned."

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            • #7
              Here is how it works in WA.

              General authority LE agencies are your city police, county sheriff, college PD, and the Dept of Fish and Wildlife and State Patrol. They can enforce ALL state laws.

              Limited authority LE agencies are either limited in a) where they can enforce the laws or b) what laws they can enforce. These agencies are the Liquor Control Board, State Parks, Dept of Natural Resources, etc.

              Then you have "specially commissioned WA peace officers" which are commission by GENERAL authority agencies but are not full time and fully compensated by that agency. So when you hear of a Sheriff deputizing say a federal or state officer they are designated them as a "specially commission WA peace officer" for that agency. But only general authority agencies can do this, so the Liquor Control Board for example couldn't call up State Parks and tell them they be commissioned LCB Officers off of state park lands. When an agency does grant these special commissions they can place limitations on them such as what laws they can enforce, where they can enforce them, etc.

              TacMac, to answer your question, Pierce Transit (and I assume Spokane Transit) are specially commissioned WA peace officers, they are essentially deputized by a county or city. Can a private entity receive special peace officer commissions? YES! In fact several hospital security departments in WA have security guards with limited peace officer authority from their sheriff/police chief. Several school districts also have their security force working under limited peace officer commissions.

              There is no law/rule which states that a specially commissioned WA peace officer needs to attend any LE academy, it is solely up to the discretion of the chief of the commissioning general authority agency.

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              • #8
                Both reserve officers and officers duly commissioned with Idaho or Oregon are considered specially commissioned peace officers and both need to attend an academy (WAC 139-05-810).

                As far as transit is concerned, they are considered enforcement officers as defined in RCW 36.57A.235 and 7.80.040.
                "Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned."

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                • #9
                  http://www.metro-magazine.com/news/s...-officers.aspx

                  When the Pierce County Transit guys were hired for this position back in 2008/2009ish, they went through pretty much the same process a police officer candidate would go through in terms of background check, poly, psych etc. This allowed them to be eligible for a limited commission since they had been thoroughly vetted. A couple of guys I worked with at the time jumped ship and went to work for them. Their limited commission only allows them to cite and or detain for certain infractions and is very limited in it's scope. They are not covered outside of their immediate employment area which in this case is the transit system.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
                    As far as transit is concerned, they are considered enforcement officers as defined in RCW 36.57A.235 and 7.80.040.
                    Pierce Transit are specially commissioned WA peace officers. From one of their recent job announcements:

                    This is a Specially Commissioned Washington Peace Officer position Females & Minorities Encouraged To Apply

                    **This is not a security guard or a police officer position. It is very unique and the first of its kind in Washington State.**

                    NOTE: Pierce Transit Security Officers hold a “Special Commission” and are Specially Commissioned Peace Officers. They are not fully commissioned law enforcement officers, do not carry firearms when performing their duties and do not have full powers of arrest as defined by RCW 10.93.020(5).

                    http://www.transittalent.com/Job_Lis...fm?JobID=51995

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
                      Both reserve officers and officers duly commissioned with Idaho or Oregon are considered specially commissioned peace officers and both need to attend an academy (WAC 139-05-810).
                      I should have clarified myself in my original post, yes reserves are specially commissioned officers, and yes they attend an academy. However, when it comes to a Sheriff or Chief "deputizing/commissioning" personnel from another agency the Sheriff/Chief can dictate what kind of training is necessary. For example numerous US Forest Service, National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management federal officers in WA hold special commissions from their sheriffs and none of them have gone thru a CJTC academy, the sheriffs simply say their federal academy is enough, and that is legal under state law. A hospital in Yakima County has their security personnel hold special commissions from the city they are in, again no CJTC training.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wildlife97 View Post
                        A hospital in Yakima County has their security personnel hold special commissions from the city they are in, again no CJTC training.
                        Interesting. What laws are they commissioned to enforce?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Seventy2002 View Post
                          Interesting. What laws are they commissioned to enforce?
                          Don't know for sure. I just knew someone who worked there previous to his current position. No LE background, yet he had a special commission from the city PD while working at the hospital. Not sure if it was just to enforce RCW 9A.50 or if they had a wider realm of authority.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wildlife97 View Post
                            However, when it comes to a Sheriff or Chief "deputizing/commissioning" personnel from another agency the Sheriff/Chief can dictate what kind of training is necessary.
                            Thanks for the info! It's interesting what Pierce Transit is doing. I guess the job posting says it all "unique" and "first of its kind."
                            "Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned."

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                            • #15
                              What's the deal with the mall ninja vest?

                              Comment

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