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  • Jurisdictions

    I was driving on US 30 from IL to IN and I noticed the state line is basically in the middle of a suburban area, it looks like a gas station is on either side of it. The only way you can tell it's there is because of the sign. My question is, lets say you are at that gas station, and someone on the opposite states side in a parking lot is doing a minor crime like breaking into a car right in front of you and stealing things out of it. Can you intervene or do you have to radio the police on the other side of the line. Also, what if it is a serious crime (kidnapping, hostage, etc.) that is time sensitive, can you intervene or do you have to get permission first, or are you not able to be deputized at all and are at the mercy of the other state?

  • #2
    Hey, that's my territory! You probably passed through my town (depending on how far west you came from).

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but last I learned in Illinois, while you are ON DUTY you have the power to enforce anything beyond petty offenses (misdemeanors and up) that you observe, regardless of their location. For example, if I was driving to court which is about 20 minutes from my town, and 10 minutes out of town I see a robbery in progress, I am empowered to take action. However, if I'm on the highway driving downstate for training and my radar is on, I cannot stop a speeding violation. I can, however, enforce traffic violations anywhere within my district while on duty.

    Several of our Officers live in Indiana, one of which is a K9 Officer. If he were to see a major crime in progress as he was driving his squad to work, he could take action. More importantly, he'd want to get on the radio or phone to get help there.

    Hope that answers your question a little bit.
    "The majority of people are sheep. Wolves prey on the sheep. You are the sheepdog. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. " -Lt. Col. Grossman

    "We are righteous under the law, and we are righteous under God!" -Chief T. Fleming

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pf217 View Post
      Hey, that's my territory! You probably passed through my town (depending on how far west you came from).

      Gotta be one of the "Woods"

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      • #4
        Wait a minute. You are in one state and see a crime committed in another state, can you take action?

        The simple answer is no. Jurisdiction is defined by the constitution of the state you are employed in. You may have jurisdiction in the entirety of the state you are employed, or restricted the the town or county.

        But regardless, you have no jurisdiction in another state unless you are requested by an officer or agency having jurisdiction in that state during a state of emergency. Think of the aftermath of Katrina. Officers from all over the country went to Louisiana, at the request of the state, and retained the arrest powers given by their state while on duty in Louisiana.

        BTW, if you have federal authority, aka FBI, US Marshall, etc, you may be able to take action.

        Hope that helps.
        Last edited by jricks; 06-07-2007, 08:59 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pf217 View Post
          Hey, that's my territory! You probably passed through my town (depending on how far west you came from).

          Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but last I learned in Illinois, while you are ON DUTY you have the power to enforce anything beyond petty offenses (misdemeanors and up) that you observe, regardless of their location. For example, if I was driving to court which is about 20 minutes from my town, and 10 minutes out of town I see a robbery in progress, I am empowered to take action. However, if I'm on the highway driving downstate for training and my radar is on, I cannot stop a speeding violation. I can, however, enforce traffic violations anywhere within my district while on duty.

          Several of our Officers live in Indiana, one of which is a K9 Officer. If he were to see a major crime in progress as he was driving his squad to work, he could take action. More importantly, he'd want to get on the radio or phone to get help there.

          Hope that answers your question a little bit.


          80 was backed up like CRAZY (at 3am) so I took IL-139 South to US 30 and took it east to I-65.

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          • #6
            If its something petty, you can call it in, but unless otherwise specifically authorized, given permission by that individual state, don't take any enforcement action. In the rare case you witnessed a felony, i.e. as you mentioned witnessed what you believed was a kidnapping, then if you felt obliged too, cross over and attempt to take action, but with due regard in mind you are doing so only with the authority of a civilian. It would be prudent before anything is done to also call it in.

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            • #7
              I would think that if there is a mutual aid agreement between the agencies then it would be OK to take action and wait for the Jurisdiction to send a car. Basically the Cops from the IN agency can be sworn by then other muncipality for assstance and vice versa.
              It takes a Wolf.......

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              • #8
                I worked for an agency for a while where the southen city limit was also the state line. Our jurisdiction ended at the state line unless we were in pursuit of an offender for a felony, then we were allowed to cross into the other state and make the arrest if we were able to catch the person. However, we were then acting as law enforcement officers under the rules and jurisdiction of that state, and under a very specific statute that provided arrest authority to officers from other states while in close pursuit. Other than that, we could only act as any other citizen of that state were we to see a crime in progress.

                Sometimes we would see stuff going on in the other state. All we could do is call the Sheriff's Department for that county. We had a good relationship with them, as it was not that unusual for both departments to pursue into the other's jurisdiction. Still, it could be a real problem. Often times suspects in minor crimes would live in the other state, and we couldn't cross over to investigate, or we would have people right across the line that were wanted but did not qualify for extradition. It was an interesting situation.
                -Landric

                "The Engine could still smile...it seemed to scare them"-Felix

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                • #9
                  Insert Gomer Pyle's voice yelling "Citizen's Arrest, Barney! Citizen's Arrest, Barney!" here.

                  Unless you are in a pursuit that started in your jurisdiction you are acting as a citizen. In either case you are bound by the rules and laws of the jursidiction that you are currently in. If you are in a pursuit that crosses the line the subject will be taken into custody by the appropriate authority at the location of the stop and then extradited to the original authority.
                  I miss you, Dave.
                  http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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                  • #10
                    We have this exact situation in another city in Saskatchewan; the Alberta / Saskatchewan Provincial border runs right through the City of Lloydminster.

                    The MAIN consideration there is enforcement of Provincial Statutes, which are NOT criminal. However, there is only one Police Service there, which is the RCMP. Our Force provides Municipal Policing Services under contract to the City of Lloydminster, PLUS we are the Provincial (kind of like a State) Police for both Alberta and Saskatchewan. Our Force can then enforce the laws on both sides of the line - they just need to use different forms.

                    I have a son who also is in the RCMP, and while not stationed in Lloydminster, does work North of there on a First Nation Reserve that also straddles the Sask / Alta border. He and his partners just have to carry 2 sets of paperwork with them.

                    The Canadian Criminal Code and other Federal Statutes apply all across Canada, and it depends on the seriousness of the offence as to whether or not a person living in one Province can be arrested and returned to a second Province regarding a CC or FS offence they have committed in the second Province.
                    #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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