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  • Shots Fired on Freeway,

    I recently started thinking about jurisdiction rules and was running scenarios in my head and trying to figure out whom would respond. I stumbled upon this scenario;

    If a State Police Officer pulls over a vehicle on a freeway and in asking for the persons drivers license gets shot and the Officer is able to get on the radio "shots fired!" and is shot again and unfortunately killed.

    Who *Can* respond to this call? Can a City Officer respond even though it's on the freeway? Are there Jurisdiction rules? Are those rules thrown out of the door when a situation like this happens?

    Also, who else gets involved when something like this happens.. both pre and post incident?

    Thanks for any and all answers! I've been wondering for a while.
    "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week."
    George S. Patton

  • #2
    Well, it's sort of a "y'all come" type call, and depending on the location and situation. Officers from more than one agency are likely to show up.

    Investigative jurisdiction is going to depend largely on the part of the country where the incident took place. In a New England state, the case will probably be investigated start to finish by the State Police.

    In the Midwest , South, or Southwest, it's likely that the County Sheriff's Dept will become involved.
    With my Agency (Alabama DPS) we, would handle the investigation, although probably work with the Sheriff's Dept of the involved county.

    Please understand that what I've given you is a very general answer, and their are probably as many variables as there are states in the union.

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    • #3
      Thank you Philip for the quick response!

      I live in the North West, Idaho so I believe the State Police will handle
      the investigation process. They handle most vehicular wrecks, accidents and
      animals that decide to roam the interstate. (From what I've seen)
      "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week."
      George S. Patton

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      • #4
        Shots fired and officer needs help calls will result in the world rolling out here.

        Also, most Peace Officers in CA have state wide authority under state law here.
        The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

        "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

        "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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        • #5
          I think it's fairly universal nationwide that in a situation like the one you describe, everyone within reasonable distance with a gun and badge is going to respond.

          Around here (SC) if the interstate runs through a city's borders, the city may respond for calls and perform traffic enforcement on said interstate. Same goes for the sheriff's office for the county the interstate runs through. In my city we have an agreement with SCHP that they work the wrecks on the interstate and we pretty much stay off of it (from an enforcement standpoint) unless they request our assistance.
          Did you ever notice that incorrectly is only spelled correctly when it's spelled incorrectly?

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          • #6
            No freeways in my area. But when I've had to call for help (not back up at that point but help) we had officers from other counties show up. To me here is the rule if you can hear the radio traffic, you respond.
            1*

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            • #7
              When the call goes out, everyone is going to respond at first to provide whatever assistance is needed. However, who winds up handling the event to a conclusion is another issue.

              In California there are overlapping jurisdictions. Freeways are state property and primary responsibility for handling crimes on state property rests with the Highway Patrol. However, freeways also exist within incorporated cities, which are the primary jurisdiction of their respective police departments, or unincorporated counties, which are the primary jurisdiction of their respective sheriffs departments.

              Because the Highway Patrol is oriented more towards traffic enforcement and accident investigation, in this case, they would probably defer to the local agency who has more expertise and training in homicide investigations. Years back I saw one instance where the state agency deferred a murder investigation to the city police. However, the city PD was a small agency with no experience in homicide, so they asked the county sheriff’s department to handle.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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              • #8
                In my area everyone on duty in the county and probably many from neighboring counties would respond ASAP, the Sheriff's Dept. would probably do the investigation. There is a basic understanding that if you are close enough to help, you better get your *** over there NOW.

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                • #9
                  When an officer is down, jurisdictional boundaries cease to exist. Once it's time to investigate, the lines go back in place.

                  In our county, there is a written protocol for who would investigate. The criminal investigation goes to the agency having responsibility for crimnal investigations where the incident occurred. If it's nside city limits, freeway or ot, then that PD gets it. Outside city limits, sheriff's office. CHP only does homicides if it's a traffic death.

                  Other counties may be different.
                  Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                  I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by XD4ME View Post
                    In my area everyone on duty in the county and probably many from neighboring counties would respond ASAP, the Sheriff's Dept. would probably do the investigation. There is a basic understanding that if you are close enough to help, you better get your *** over there NOW.
                    Not really sure what part of the "midwest" you are from...............but it is the same in my neck of the woods....................

                    In fact you are probably going to see some people from some agencies that you had no idea were in your area or maybe even heard of.
                    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                    • #11
                      Iowa, I am from the land of beer and cheese. I am sure you are correct about people I have never met before showing up and I would be glad to have them but hope it never comes down to that.

                      We don't have any 1000+ officer agencies around here. In fact, I doubt there are 1000 cops if you counted every police officer, deputy, and trooper in my county and the bordering counties put together. It is different from the big agencies like NYPD and LAPD for sure, but I like it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ateamer View Post
                        When an officer is down, jurisdictional boundaries cease to exist. Once it's time to investigate, the lines go back in place.

                        In our county, there is a written protocol for who would investigate. The criminal investigation goes to the agency having responsibility for crimnal investigations where the incident occurred. If it's nside city limits, freeway or ot, then that PD gets it. Outside city limits, sheriff's office. CHP only does homicides if it's a traffic death.

                        Other counties may be different.
                        Ditto

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                        • #13
                          In my AO, we (the state police) investigate everything, including ourselves.
                          I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it

                          "But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet
                          it" - Thucydides

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