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  • Little Known Colorado Statute

    So I have been in contact with a corrections friendly state senator here in colorado since 05' and after I sent him a draft of a revised statute pertaining to CO's and peace officer status he sent me this today, telling me that what I was pushing for is already in statute and has been since 1977:

    17-20-103. Wardens and others - conservators of peace.
    Statute text

    The wardens of all correctional facilities under the supervision of the executive director and the staff of such correctional facilities shall be conservators of the peace. As such they shall have the power to arrest or cause to be arrested, with or without process, upon any grounds owned or leased by this state and used by such correctional facilities, any person who breaks the peace, has an outstanding arrest warrant, or is found upon said grounds violating any criminal law of this state and to turn such person over to local law enforcement for detainment and disposition. Local law enforcement authorities are obligated to respond at the facilities' request to carry out the provisions of this section.


    I have been researching colorado peace officer definition for some time now, I can't believe that I missed this. Not only are Colorado CO's (unbeknownst) to the DOC) technically Peace Officers, but they are authorized to arrest ANYONE violating the laws of the state as long as they are on State DOC property.

    Now, the next hurdle is to get the Department to actually recognize this statutory authority. When I worked with the DOC I personally let many people with active warrants go because the academy made it clear that we had NO arrest authority.

    Colorado may have some hope yet.

  • #2
    Good luck dude, hopefully someone out in CO will recognize this and change things for the better.

    Arizona COs can have something similar, where we have peace officer status only on duty for DOC related matters, but the department refuses to offer the course, even as optional training. It's called Limited Correctional Peace Officer certification through AZPOST.
    1*

    Ten dash eight!

    Comment


    • #3
      yeah thirdgod, when I was out in Arizona I remembered reading that on the POST website, but likewise Arizona was more than hesitant to afford it to it's officers.

      In this case though, it's in statute, so I'm anxious to see whether or not any of the Department administrators are willing to even recognize it as a given authority.

      Comment


      • #4
        It sounds like the LEOSA of 2004 protects Colorado DOC staff whom the agency trains and authorizes to use firearms too.
        "Keep up the good fight, pass the word, and teach others to fight back when unjustly assaulted--be it on the street or in the courtroom. Self-defense is a normal, moral act. So teach your family, friends, and students practical defense against both physical and legal marauders." by Jerry VanCook www.PrisonOfficer.Org

        Comment


        • #5
          it sure does, but does LEOSA specify what type of firearms the agency must train the employee in? Whether they are long weapons or handguns? the colorado doc only provides intitial training with the shotgun and the AR15, which everyone gets, but you have to sign up for and be accepted to take the semi-auto pistol course.

          So if the initial shotgun and AR training falls under the guidelines of HR218, then colorado can no longer be denied!

          I'm sending an email to the state attorney general to see what they have to say about it, I'm not holding my breath.

          Comment


          • #6
            It doesn't matter what kind of weapons you are trained with as long as they are firearms. Here's what the LEOSA of 2004 says:

            H.R.218: The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004
            (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)

            One Hundred Eighth Congress of the United States of America

            AT THE SECOND SESSION

            Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the twentieth day of January, two thousand and four

            An Act

            To amend title 18, United States Code, to exempt qualified current and former law enforcement officers from State laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed handguns.

            Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

            SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

            This Act may be cited as the `Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004'.



            SEC. 2. EXEMPTION OF QUALIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FROM STATE LAWS PROHIBITING THE CARRYING OF CONCEALED FIREARMS.

            (a) In General- Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 926A the following:

            `Sec. 926B. Carrying of concealed firearms by qualified law enforcement officers

            `(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof, an individual who is a qualified law enforcement officer and who is carrying the identification required by subsection (d) may carry a concealed firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, subject to subsection (b).

            `(b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of any State that--

            `(1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or

            `(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.

            `(c) As used in this section, the term `qualified law enforcement officer' means an employee of a governmental agency who--

            `(1) is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law, and has statutory powers of arrest;

            `(2) is authorized by the agency to carry a firearm;

            `(3) is not the subject of any disciplinary action by the agency;

            `(4) meets standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;

            `(5) is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance; and

            `(6) is not prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm.

            `(d) The identification required by this subsection is the photographic identification issued by the governmental agency for which the individual is employed as a law enforcement officer.

            `(e) As used in this section, the term `firearm' does not include--

            `(1) any machinegun (as defined in section 5845 of the National Firearms Act);

            `(2) any firearm silencer (as defined in section 921 of this title); and

            `(3) any destructive device (as defined in section 921 of this title).'.

            (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 926A the following:

            `926B. Carrying of concealed firearms by qualified law enforcement officers.'.



            SEC. 3. EXEMPTION OF QUALIFIED RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FROM STATE LAWS PROHIBITING THE CARRYING OF CONCEALED FIREARMS.

            (a) In General- Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is further amended by inserting after section 926B the following:

            `Sec. 926C. Carrying of concealed firearms by qualified retired law enforcement officers

            `(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof, an individual who is a qualified retired law enforcement officer and who is carrying the identification required by subsection (d) may carry a concealed firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, subject to subsection (b).

            `(b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of any State that--

            `(1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or

            `(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.

            `(c) As used in this section, the term `qualified retired law enforcement officer' means an individual who--

            `(1) retired in good standing from service with a public agency as a law enforcement officer, other than for reasons of mental instability;

            `(2) before such retirement, was authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law, and had statutory powers of arrest;

            `(3)(A) before such retirement, was regularly employed as a law enforcement officer for an aggregate of 15 years or more; or

            `(B) retired from service with such agency, after completing any applicable probationary period of such service, due to a service-connected disability, as determined by such agency;

            `(4) has a nonforfeitable right to benefits under the retirement plan of the agency;

            `(5) during the most recent 12-month period, has met, at the expense of the individual, the State's standards for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry firearms;

            `(6) is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance; and

            `(7) is not prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm.

            `(d) The identification required by this subsection is--

            `(1) a photographic identification issued by the agency from which the individual retired from service as a law enforcement officer that indicates that the individual has, not less recently than one year before the date the individual is carrying the concealed firearm, been tested or otherwise found by the agency to meet the standards established by the agency for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm; or

            `(2)(A) a photographic identification issued by the agency from which the individual retired from service as a law enforcement officer; and

            `(B) a certification issued by the State in which the individual resides that indicates that the individual has, not less recently than one year before the date the individual is carrying the concealed firearm, been tested or otherwise found by the State to meet the standards established by the State for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm.

            `(e) As used in this section, the term `firearm' does not include--

            `(1) any machinegun (as defined in section 5845 of the National Firearms Act);

            `(2) any firearm silencer (as defined in section 921 of this title); and

            `(3) a destructive device (as defined in section 921 of this title).'.

            (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for such chapter is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 926B the following:

            `926C. Carrying of concealed firearms by qualified retired law enforcement officers.'.



            Speaker of the House of Representatives.

            Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate.
            "Keep up the good fight, pass the word, and teach others to fight back when unjustly assaulted--be it on the street or in the courtroom. Self-defense is a normal, moral act. So teach your family, friends, and students practical defense against both physical and legal marauders." by Jerry VanCook www.PrisonOfficer.Org

            Comment


            • #7
              I hate to be a party pooper, but.......

              While the law you quoted seems to grant limited arrest powers, does it actually confer peace officer powers?

              Here in California, we have laws that grant people the same ability to make arrests as peace officers (under more liberal circumstances than a citizen's arrest) without actually conferring peace officer powers on them (private college security, jailers, etc.). However, our laws go on to say that no matter what authority any other state law grants someone, they are not a peace officer unless their position is specifically identified as such in a certain part of the penal code.

              The term "Conservator of the Peace" sounds like a weasel word to make you feel like a peace officer when you really aren't. You might want to double check Colorado law and find out exactly what the difference is between a conservator of the peace and a peace officer.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #8
                I know what you're saying, but here is the other statute that makes Colorado CO's PEACE OFFICERS:

                16-2.5-135. Executive director of the department of corrections - warden - corrections officer.
                Statute text

                The executive director of the department of corrections, a warden, a corrections officer employed by the department of corrections, or other department of corrections employee assigned by the executive director, is a peace officer while engaged in the performance of his or her duties pursuant to title 17, C.R.S., whose primary authority is the supervision of persons in the custody or confinement of the department of corrections and who may be certified by the P.O.S.T. board.

                As you can see Colorado CO's are peace officers while in the performance of their duties pursuant to Title 17, which is the very statute that gives them arrest powers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by correctionsguy
                  I know what you're saying, but here is the other statute that makes Colorado CO's PEACE OFFICERS:

                  16-2.5-135. Executive director of the department of corrections - warden - corrections officer.
                  Statute text

                  The executive director of the department of corrections, a warden, a corrections officer employed by the department of corrections, or other department of corrections employee assigned by the executive director, is a peace officer while engaged in the performance of his or her duties pursuant to title 17, C.R.S., whose primary authority is the supervision of persons in the custody or confinement of the department of corrections and who may be certified by the P.O.S.T. board.

                  As you can see Colorado CO's are peace officers while in the performance of their duties pursuant to Title 17, which is the very statute that gives them arrest powers.
                  You guys didn't know this already? We were taught this at my Academy.

                  Most correction facilities here around Denver have sworn and non-sworn personnel. For purposes of this discussion: Sworn= LEO. Non-sworn=CO.

                  The big difference is COs are legally peace officers only on duty - since the statue says that they MAY be POST certified. LEOs MUST be POST certified, and are peace officers 24/7. That's the big kicker in the Colorado Statutes (may versus must)

                  IMHO, COs qualify for carrying under the LEOSA as long as you are required to qualify with a firearm (doesn't specify what type).

                  BUT you may get in trouble with your employer.

                  Personally, I'd never EVER jack with a CO from another state carrying concealed - as long as I can see the creds.
                  Stop Animal Testing!! (Because they really skew the grading curve...)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    MountainCop-
                    The thing is that CO's in colorado do know that Title 16 covers them as peace officers while on duty, however they do not realize and IT IS NOT COVERED in the academy, that CO's are granted the power to arrest while on duty and on State DOC property.

                    I was a CO in the Denver area before transferring and in our academy it was reiterated that CO's do not have arrest authority PERIOD. This is obviously in direct contradiction to what the State Statute Reads in Title 17. So, the issue is not whether CO's are peace officers, that has been established with the revamping of the statute in 2003, it is why the Department of Corrrections has swept the arrest powers under the rug. It would be pretty easy to create a block of instruction similar to California's PC 832 course and teach it in the academy. Also, when I was a CO it was specified that HR 218 did not apply to us because we had no arrest powers, which again is in direct contradiction to state statute.

                    The Colorado DOC needs to get it together, but then again they are too concerned with the comfort of the inmates than the professionalism and training of it's officers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by correctionsguy

                      The Colorado DOC needs to get it together, but then again they are too concerned with the comfort of the inmates than the professionalism and training of it's officers.
                      That has become the rule rather than the exception unfortunately.
                      "Keep up the good fight, pass the word, and teach others to fight back when unjustly assaulted--be it on the street or in the courtroom. Self-defense is a normal, moral act. So teach your family, friends, and students practical defense against both physical and legal marauders." by Jerry VanCook www.PrisonOfficer.Org

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by correctionsguy
                        MountainCop-
                        The thing is that CO's in colorado do know that Title 16 covers them as peace officers while on duty, however they do not realize and IT IS NOT COVERED in the academy, that CO's are granted the power to arrest while on duty and on State DOC property.

                        I was a CO in the Denver area before transferring and in our academy it was reiterated that CO's do not have arrest authority PERIOD. This is obviously in direct contradiction to what the State Statute Reads in Title 17. So, the issue is not whether CO's are peace officers, that has been established with the revamping of the statute in 2003, it is why the Department of Corrrections has swept the arrest powers under the rug. It would be pretty easy to create a block of instruction similar to California's PC 832 course and teach it in the academy. Also, when I was a CO it was specified that HR 218 did not apply to us because we had no arrest powers, which again is in direct contradiction to state statute.

                        The Colorado DOC needs to get it together, but then again they are too concerned with the comfort of the inmates than the professionalism and training of it's officers.
                        One word - politics. Really angers me when the law is ignored like that for political gain. But it happens all the time in Denver...

                        Our CRS instructor knew his stuff backwards and forwards.

                        The question that pops up in my mind: You have a visitor who attempts to bring in contraband - you have to summon a sworn officer to arrest them?

                        Sounds stupid to me...
                        Stop Animal Testing!! (Because they really skew the grading curve...)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Think you are confused? Check out California's Penal Code 831.5. Our department has been dealing with this crap since 1988.

                          It says that we are "Public Officers", who have the RESPONSIBILITY to arrest someone who has committed a misdemeaner or felony in our presence. Most of us don't know that, nor is it told to us. We are the Counties stepchild.

                          So if someone attempted to sneak in contraband (like dope), technically we would arrest them, read them their rights and write the crime report at direction of a Sergeant from the Sheriff's department, who we get our authority from. We have two Sheriff's Sergeants assigned to every shift.

                          However....

                          If I see a hit and run, would I pull the guy over? (we do have red and blue lights and sirens in our transportation vans). Hell no. Would I let the Sheriffs dispatch know. Yep.

                          As far as the HR218 thing. We do qualify, although our departments policy says we are not allowed to carry off duty. So...I won't get arrested, but I will get fired????
                          Noise Check!

                          Vic Mackey was my Training Officer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            what I meant was PC 832, the powers of arrest 40 hour course that is the bare minimum requirement for peace officers in the state of california. This is typical of positions such as Deputy Coroner (as well as the coroner's course), State Hospital Police, and even California CO's are PC 832 which is why they are able to exercise peace officer powers (though the entire academy is 16 weeks in length, their actual powers are derived from PC 832).

                            What I'm saying is that Colorado needs to add a PC 832 type block of instruction so CO's here can exercise the statutory authority given to them without liability issues. Currently a CO could technically arrest a visitor for driving drunk into the facility parking lot, or for attempting to smuggle in contraband, however it is not practiced and would be a major liability issue because there is no training involved.

                            The academy instructors say nothing about the statutes that govern CO's, nor do they cover what authority a CO actually has, they simply say that CO's are not cops and can't arrest anybody, period.

                            here's a quick excerpt from the California POST website regarding PC 832:

                            The PC 832 Arrest and Firearms Course (PC 832 Course) is the minimum training standard for California peace officers as specified in Commission Regulation 1005 (doc). This training may be met by successful completion of a basic training course (e.g., Regular Basic Course, Specialized Investigators' Basic Course) or as a separate stand-alone certified course. There are over 80 presenters of the PC 832 Course throughout California. Information on the individual course presenters can be found in POST's Catalog of Certified Courses under "Arrest and Firearms (PC 832)".
                            The Arrest and Firearms (PC 832) course consists of two components, which total a minimum of 64 hours. The Arrest component has a 40-hour requirement, and the Firearms component has a 24-hour requirement. These components are divided into 14 individual topics, called Learning Domains. The Learning Domains contain the minimum required foundational information for given subjects. The training and testing specifications for a particular domain may also include information on required instructional activities and testing requirements. The specific learning domains are identified in the PC 832 training specifications.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MountainCop
                              The question that pops up in my mind: You have a visitor who attempts to bring in contraband - you have to summon a sworn officer to arrest them?

                              Sounds stupid to me...
                              welcome to DSD. we had an assault on 16 deputies not too long ago... we had to call 2 DPD officers to come take criminal reports to file with the DA. I don't understand why they just don't POST certify us and give us our own authority.

                              Comment

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