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Peace officer Versus Police Officer

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  • Peace officer Versus Police Officer

    What's the difference between the two? I never heard the term peace officer before and now I seem to read it everywhere.

  • #2
    It really depends on where you are talking about. In most states they are the same. In others, they share different powers and arrest authority. The states Penal codes will define what a peace officer is or what a police officer is. In some cities they also have municipal codes that may specify certain "jobs" and authorities for local police.

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    • #3
      In Ohio the term Peace Officer is used in legal terms so that you don't have to say Deputy Sheriff, Police Officer, State Trooper. Anyone who is sworn to uphold the law and enforce the same thus "Keep The Peace" is a Peace Officer.
      In Ohio the Cetfication somebody receives is not as a Police Officer but as a Peace Officer. Ohio Peace Officer Training Council is a branch of the Ohio Attorney General's Office and they Certify all law enforcement officers in the state



      In the old West days is basically a place where Pecae Officer was used to describe the Local Sheriff or Marshal who kept the town peaceful. ETC

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Spee-Dee
        What's the difference between the two? I never heard the term peace officer before and now I seem to read it everywhere.

        Peace Officer-used in court during testify (for Sheriff's Deputies) here in lovely midwest.


        Police officer-member of police force (city police department or state trooper).

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        • #5
          In Kentucky, like Bodie described.. Peace Officer is the generic term in statute to define all persons with arrest authority. Troopers, Police, Deputies, Correction Officers...

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          • #6
            Peace Officer vs Peace Officer

            In Alabama, as in Ohio and other states, a Peace Officer is a term used to identify any sworn officer with arrest powers. That includes Troopers, Deputy Sheriff's, Municipal Police Officers, and certain other classes of Officers such as Game Wardens , Enforcement Officers of the Public Service Commission, and University Police Officers.

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            • #7
              Now to throw you for a loop - Every police officer is normally a peace officer, but every peace officer is not a police officer.

              For instance, in BC the SPCA has "peace officers" with special constable status and have badges. They can write tickets, forward charges, and obtain search warrants with respect to protecting animals.

              Most peace officers have a great deal of a authority under their legislation but they aren't "police officers" and can't enforce other statutes.

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              • #8
                See: Criminal Code of Canada and look at Section 2, which is the definition section, for the definition of "peace officer" .

                Or see: The RCMP Act and look at Sections 7(1), 9, 18 & 20 to see our appointment as Peace Officers for Canada and the various Provinces.

                Other Federal Statutes, such as the Customs Act and Immigration Act, also include provisions for the appointment of Peace Officers for the purposes of those Acts and other related Federal Statutes.

                Or see: The Police Act, 1990 starting at Section 20 where Peace Officer members of the RCMP are designated as Provincial Police officers for Saskatchewan, and look for the further sections that designate appointments of other Peace Officers, and the rules for Municipal Police Services.

                Other Saskatchewan Provincial Statutes, such as the Highway Traffic Act, the Fuel Tax Act, the Wildlife Act and other legislation, include provisions for the appointment of Peace Officers for the purposes of those Acts and other related Saskatchewan Provincial Statutes. I can only assume that other Canadian Provinces have laws similar to these Saskatchewan laws.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PeteBroccolo
                  See: Criminal Code of Canada and look at Section 2, which is the definition section, for the definition of "peace officer" .

                  Or see: The RCMP Act and look at Sections 7(1), 9, 18 & 20 to see our appointment as Peace Officers for Canada and the various Provinces.

                  Other Federal Statutes, such as the Customs Act and Immigration Act, also include provisions for the appointment of Peace Officers for the purposes of those Acts and other related Federal Statutes.

                  Or see: The Police Act, 1990 starting at Section 20 where Peace Officer members of the RCMP are designated as Provincial Police officers for Saskatchewan, and look for the further sections that designate appointments of other Peace Officers, and the rules for Municipal Police Services.

                  Other Saskatchewan Provincial Statutes, such as the Highway Traffic Act, the Fuel Tax Act, the Wildlife Act and other legislation, include provisions for the appointment of Peace Officers for the purposes of those Acts and other related Saskatchewan Provincial Statutes. I can only assume that other Canadian Provinces have laws similar to these Saskatchewan laws.
                  Wow, that was very thorough. Thanks!

                  Originally posted by cst.sb
                  Now to throw you for a loop - Every police officer is normally a peace officer, but every peace officer is not a police officer.
                  That's not that much of a loop. I've been thrown much more complicated loops in my first year Native Studies class last year. If I've read and interpretated it correctly the term peace officer makes up a vast variety of different types of officers that police officers fall under. However, the term police officer is not as vast and is more limited to who can be called one??? I think I just got myself lost again.

                  The only thing I could come up with before was based on that Molson Canadian commercial ("I believe in peace-keeping, not policing") as a euphemism to not make the police appear as the stereotype of people who administer justice by beating criminals down with their batons, but rather people who are friendly and try to prevent crime from happening as acting in preventitive measures.

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                  • #10
                    What are the duties of a constable and I think Louisana is the only place I have heard of them..in Mass they serve evict notices!!

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                    • #11
                      If you ask me I think it is just a liberal play on words. Trying to make us sound "nice" and "friendly".
                      "I am the guy that keeps Mister Dead in his pocket." -'Mad' Max Rockatansky

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jcallen12003
                        What are the duties of a constable and I think Louisana is the only place I have heard of them..in Mass they serve evict notices!!
                        This is another term whose meaning varies from state to state. There are a few states where the size of the two determines the official title of their law enforcement officers. A very small town might have "constables," the next larger "marshals," and the largest ones "police officers." Regardless, most all of them refer to their cops as "police officers."

                        The term comes out of Middle English. During the feudal era, the only official protective force were watchmen, who were supposed to keep watch at night and alert the village in case of a fire. This duty was rotated among the able-bodied men of the village. Much of the time, the watchman would just go home and go to sleep.

                        Every once in a while, a highwayman or other malefactor might come through the village and merit chasing afterward. This duty was awarded to the :keeper of the stable," or comes stabuli, which means "keeper of the stable." He got the job because he always had access to a horse. In time, that title was shortened to "constable."

                        In most places, the constables have full peace officer powers, although their main duty is to serve papers and enforce civil orders of the courts. This is by far not an "always," asthe job varies a lot. In Texas, many constable's offices have uniformed officers and fully-equipped patrol cars, and do a lot of highway traffic enforcement and drug interdiction. One of the first patrol ar videos of an officer being attacked on a car stop was of a Texas constable doing drug interdiction.
                        Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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                        • #13
                          The term goes back, at least, to 1829 in England so I doubt it is a liberal play on words.

                          Originally posted by Pedro56
                          If you ask me I think it is just a liberal play on words. Trying to make us sound "nice" and "friendly".
                          "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

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                          • #14
                            In NY, there is a distinct difference between peace officers and police officers. Peace officers, depending on the agency, are allowed to write vehicle and traffic violations, can arrest but only for crimes committed in their presence and can not serve warrants. Police officers can write any violation in their GAOE, can arrest for any misdeamor or felony anywhere in the state (said crime does not need to be commited in their presence) and can serve warrants.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jcallen12003
                              What are the duties of a constable and I think Louisana is the only place I have heard of them..in Mass they serve evict notices!!
                              In Canada, Constable is a rank in all Police Services for their members who have been appointed as Peace Officers and assigned to do a variety of operational, operational support and even administrative duties, and is generally the lowest rank of fully-trained "Police".

                              Some Police Services hire members as Special Constables, who are also appointed as Peace Officers, and most often wear a uniform, but are not all necessarily armed. Some Services use this rank for their desk clerks, dispatchers, parking and other-municipal-bylaw enforcement officers, or for their full and part-time gaol (like jail!) guards. In this Province, the Province Justice - Court Services - Sheriffs Department's Deputy Sheriffs are S/Cst, wear a uniform, are not armed and provide security for courts as well as escort prisoners from remand cells to court and back.

                              Some Police Services have Auxiliary Constables - the RCMP has such a rank, but these are unpaid, partly-trained, limited-authority, non-armed civilians, who perform both community relations (school talks, Child ID clinics etc) and operational support (uniformed ride-along mainly) duties. They are issued a modified uniform (unstriped pants and no picture-postcard type dress uniform, but are issued SBA, OC, cuffs, ASP & duty belt). They have NO authority except while on duty and under direct supervision of an RCMP Regular Member. They are appointed as Peace Officers by way of being appointed as Special Constables under each Province's Police Act.
                              #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                              Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                              RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                              Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                              "Smile" - no!

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