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  • Freeway jurisdiction..

    Always wondered about jurisdiction on the freeways...

    The only LEO's I have ever seen pulling someone over on the freeways would be sheriffs and state patrol.

    Would a city police officer be able to pull someone over on the freeway if he/she was on duty and observed a traffic violation? (assuming it was within city limits)
    Mister rabbit says, "A moment of realization is worth a thousand prayers."

  • #2
    Originally posted by knox View Post
    Always wondered about jurisdiction on the freeways...

    The only LEO's I have ever seen pulling someone over on the freeways would be sheriffs and state patrol.

    Would a city police officer be able to pull someone over on the freeway if he/she was on duty and observed a traffic violation? (assuming it was within city limits)
    Yes, and vice versa, the State Patrol can and will stop you on the city streets as well.
    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - Orwell

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    • #3


      I know nothing about how things work in your state, but any cop with jurisdiction can stop you for an infraction in VA. Most often, our Interstate highways are patrolled by the state police......but a city officer can also pull you over for violations within the city limits (and a town or county officer can do the same if the offense is on their turf). If you are driving on the small stretch of I-95 through Fredericksburg, a city cop there can write you for a violation. Usually, though, they'll be using the highway to get from one place to another rather than as a regular patrol spot.


      Likewise, a state trooper can make a non-traffic arrest if he/she deems it necessary. Rule of thumb: If it has blue lights, be extra cautious with your driving habits!

      The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

      The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

      ------------------------------------------------

      "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

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      • #4
        Ditto on VA Dutch's comments in Maryland.
        John 3:16

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        • #5
          Freeway Jurisdiction

          In Alabama, about five, maybe six years ago, the Legislature enacted a bill that prohibits cities of 19,000 or less population, from enforcing the Vehicle Code on the Interstate (Freeway). I have no idea how the 19,000 population was arrived at. The story was that a member of the Legislature had been cited for speeding by a local Officer. Bottom line: The legislation is still on the books.

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          • #6
            ...............yes............

            A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

            It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.

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            • #7
              I lived 35 miles from my city and commuted on the freeway on my police motor. I usually tried to put the blinders on while on the freeway for lots of reasons (poor radio communication, no readily available back-up, etc), but I stopped a few folks over the years and wrote some cites and even got some DUI's. The rule of thumb for us was as long as I've got a legitimate reason to be where I am, I can enforce the Vehicle Code. In other words, while it's OK for me to cite on the freeway while I'm commuting to and from, it wouldn't be OK for me to park on the shoulder and work LASER.

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              • #8
                Isn't Milwaukee the city where the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office actually does patrol of the freeways in that county instead of the Wisconsin State Patrol? Not to say that WSP doesn't make stops in that county, they obviously do, but I think MCSO is actually dispatched to calls within the county on the freeways instead of WSP. As far as the PD goes, I am sure that they are busy enough in the city without going out on the freeway.

                As an aside, although I am not in Wisconsin, we did a felony warrant stop/arrest on the Interstate not long ago. I am a deputy sheriff and I was assisted by city cops and we never saw any troopers. Not they I expected them, becasue it was over and done with in pretty short order. Not that I am in any position to speak for the Minnesota State Patrol, but from the outside looking in it seems to me as if they stay pretty damn busy in the metro area. On the other hand, if you are the trooper in Wheaton you probably have a little time on your hands.

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                • #9
                  Depends on where which state your in. In California officers are empowered by the state and can act anywhere, although their main area of focus obviously is with their employing agency
                  Today's Quote:

                  "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                  Albert Einstein

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                  • #10
                    I do it all the time in south Texas

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jim1648 View Post
                      Isn't Milwaukee the city where the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office actually does patrol of the freeways in that county instead of the Wisconsin State Patrol? Not to say that WSP doesn't make stops in that county, they obviously do, but I think MCSO is actually dispatched to calls within the county on the freeways instead of WSP. As far as the PD goes, I am sure that they are busy enough in the city without going out on the freeway.
                      Yes, it seems as though the sheriffs office does the majority of the patrol on the freeway. Oh, no doubt Milwaukee cops have their hands full already. I was just curious if they did indeed have the power to conduct a traffic stop on the freeway if the situation arose.

                      Thanks again to everyone who replied.
                      Mister rabbit says, "A moment of realization is worth a thousand prayers."

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                      • #12
                        Normally to actively run traffic enforcement on interstates in Tennessee, the jurisdictional agency has to have permission or an agreement with the TN Highway Patrol. That doesn't mean that they can't act on other offenses (DUI, reckless driving, MVC's w/injuries, etc). Most of the agencies in my area have such an agreement because the THP is so widespread that response times in some instances are pretty long from them. They are hiring quite a bit right now so I assume it will be getting better.
                        I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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                        • #13
                          In MD, the troopers are just about the only ones actively running traffic on the interstates. This is only because it is their primary jurisdiction and most other agencies are busy within their are of primary jurisdiction. I dont run traffic on an interstate beacause it's too darn dangerous. There is plenty of traffic problems on the county and private roads. If I observe something really bad traffic wise on the interstate, I will make a traffic stop though.
                          John 3:16

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by knox View Post
                            Always wondered about jurisdiction on the freeways...

                            The only LEO's I have ever seen pulling someone over on the freeways would be sheriffs and state patrol.

                            Would a city police officer be able to pull someone over on the freeway if he/she was on duty and observed a traffic violation? (assuming it was within city limits)
                            Milwaukee SO is responsible for the interstate system in Milwaukee County. Any cop in Milwaukee county has the law enforcement authority by state statute in Milwaukee county. This is not true for the rest of the state.

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                            • #15
                              In Ky, if the Interstate runs through your jurisdiction you can do enforcement on it. However your enforcement powers end at your jurisdictional boundry. Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement are obviously "all roads, all codes".

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