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Code Enforcement Recognized as Law Enforcement?

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  • Code Enforcement Recognized as Law Enforcement?

    The Code Enforcement Professionals of Idaho "may" become part of the Idaho POST Academy and recognized as "Law Enforcement" we have titles ranging from Animal Control Officer to Zoning Enforcement. Thoughts? Many of use investigate and issue misdemeanor citations almost all of us have been in vary dangerous job related situations. I have faced a black power pistol toting felon telling me I'll never survive being on his street the next time I patrol it! I wear a badge and am sworn to uphold the U.S and Idaho constitutions. I am recognize in gray area sort of ways a "Peace Officer". I have no arrest powers. AS a group CEPI feels we need Officer safety and procedural training as well as high ethical and professional standards. When we go on private property we need to be professional and protected as we perform our limited Enforcement duties. As a group the director of the Idaho POST Academy pointed out we encompass almost every duty that an armed POST certified Officer performs from Arrest to Search and Seizure that is scary when almost all of us have very limited or no training to do our jobs! If this carries through our legislature we may be "Peace Officers" in our individual titles after December. WE have had building inspectors murdered and other Officers stalked to their front doors for issuing something is mild as verbal warning to remove their junk car from a public road..

    Thanks,
    John Runer ACO Challis, Idaho
    Custer County Reserve Deputy
    Last edited by jruner; 09-13-2009, 10:31 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by jruner View Post
    The Code Enforcement Professionals of Idaho "may" become part of the Idaho POST Academy and recognized as "Law Enforcement" we have titles ranging from Animal Control Officer to Zoning Enforcement. Thoughts? Many of use investigate and issue misdemeanor citations almost all of us have been in vary dangerous job related situations. I have faced a black power pistol toting felon telling me I'll never survive being on his street the next time I patrol it! I wear a badge and am sworn to uphold the U.S and Idaho constitutions. I am recognize in gray area sort of ways a "Peace Officer". I have no arrest powers. AS a group CEPI feels we need Officer safety and procedural training as well as high ethical and professional standards. When we go on private property we need to be professional and protected as we perform our limited Enforcement duties. As a group the director of the Idaho POST Academy pointed out we encompass almost every duty that and armed POST certified Officer performs from Arrest to Search and Seizure that scary when almost all of us have very limited or no training to do our jobs! If this carries through our legislature we may be "Peace Officers" in our individual titles after December. WE have had building inspectors murdered and other Officers stalked to their front doors.

    Thanks,
    John Runer ACO Challis, Idaho
    Custer County Reserve Deputy
    I am confused.
    summer - winter - work

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    • #3
      Thank you for the "North Of The Border" information. Are their any US Officers with comments? In Idaho as an Animal Control Officer I am considered a "Peace Officer" very loosely as the main definition here seams to be an Officer who enforces law on public highways and also handles felony crimes. I can enforce any local or state law that falls under Animal Control including felony dog fighting. Without any training required!

      John Runer
      Challis, Idaho
      Last edited by jruner; 09-13-2009, 10:33 AM.

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      • #4
        When I was in Florida, the Pensacola PD and Escambia SO both had sworn officers as code enforcement. They went through the academy same as everyone else and carried on duty. If they were close to a hot call they would show up and help contain the situation.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jruner View Post
          Are their any US Officers with comments?
          I think you are going to run into opposition on three fronts.

          Your greatest opponents will be city/county government in general and you will probably see it on a statewide basis. Their biggest concern will be fiscal. If you are granted peace officer status, there will be a need for POST mandated peace officer training, annual update training, the purchase of safety equipment and adherence to procedural issues unique to peace officers (such as peace officer rights) all of which are more costly than for a civilian position. In addition, higher standards are required of peace officers, limiting the applicant pool. More in depth backgrounds, medicals and psychs will now be required. Because this is a peace officer position, higher pay, benefits and retirement can now be demanded. All of these things cost an inordinate amount of money. Because government is pledged to keep expenses down, especially at these lean times, expect strong opposition from your state's municipal league or whatever group represents cities and counties in your state.

          Your next opponents will be your state sheriffs and police chief's association. I suspect they will oppose creating a specific peace officer class for code enforcement because it is impractical for the above reason, sets a bad precedent and starts down the road to the creation of too many specialized peace officer positions . Many states have laws that simply say Code Enforcement officers are not peace officers, but may exercise the powers of a peace officer for the purpose of enforcing certain laws. They also have laws that make it an offence to assault, threaten or interfere with a public officer (any public employee, sworn or not),. This pretty much meets the needs of code enforcement personnel.

          Your final opposition will come from the state Legislature itself, who will need to pass a law granting your category of personnel peace officer status. Legislatures are careful about who they confer peace officer status on, because in the past, so many people lobbying for this status has cause things to get out of hand in some states. For a while, things got so bad in California that cemetery sextants had peace officer powers and anyone who ran a bus company could appoint their own cops. Finally the Legislature had to do an about face, clean up the Penal Code and put an end to all the "special" police categories they had created, just because someone thought they needed peace officer status.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            Really can't add to L-1's reply, except to say, you're facing a very uphill battle with respect to gaining full Peace Officer status. With no disrespect to our Canadian colleague: The example he cites for his city would probably be a good plan for U.S. cities/ counties, but here, you revert again to the scenarios referenced by L-1, and for all the reasons mentioned.

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            • #7
              Thank you for the replies! I agree with the uphill battle however I am still glad that in Idaho some cities are starting to recognize the need for better training at the very least. I started as an ACO with no training and faced an angry felon with a gun one week later with no idea what to do, luckily I was able to calm him down long enough to get my truck restarted (it stalled) and report the incident to the Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff has made me a reserve for training and officer safety. I am a city ACO and have to fight for minimal training through it.

              John Runer
              Challis, Idaho

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              • #8
                In Florida they are not except for in instances like CH29 stated where an agency uses their sworn officers for code enforcement. At my department, they get better pay. My father in law works as code enforcement for a large neighboring county. He has a better take home car, better pay, better equipment, and generally a better job. He also has the exact same badge that I do, except it says "Code Enforcement Officer" instead of "Police Officer".

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                • #9
                  Let me put in my 2-cents...
                  In certain jurisdictions in Colorado, Code Enforcement falls under the purview of Law Enforcement, and these officers are POST certified. In other areas, Code Enforcement Officers are deputized. In any case, training for CEO's is available through the Colorado Asociation of Code Enforcement Officers and the American Association of Code Enforcement. In addition, training is provided through the local Sheriff's/Police Departments, and other sources. What I am saying is that as far as Peace Officer status is concerned, it is not a necessity to obtain POST certification to perform the duties of a Code Enforcement officer. You can still issue citations, investigate complaints, build a case for court etc...it all depends on what your governing entity ALLOWS you to do. If you aren't sure,...ASK! Usually, Code Enforcement falls under two broad catagories...Land Use, (zoning requirements, permitted use), and/or Ordinance Enforcement, (junk, trash, debris, weeds etc.)Code Enforcement Officers encounter many of the perils faced by LEO's, many times without the back-up or training to adequately control these situations. Just recently, a CEO was shot and killed in Colorado by a deranged individual while he was just doing his job. My advice is to develope a close working relationship with local law enforcement, and ask for as much training and safety equipment as you think you need to do your job. Many times, in rural settings when there is a situation, local law enforcement is is happy to see the CEO, as is the CEO happy to see the peace officer. It's all in how you present yourself and what you do. Stay safe out there....
                  Codeman

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                  • #10
                    First off let me say that I feel you pain as a former Idahoan and as a person from there who has witnessed the disrespect for even LEO, I'm with you. I am dyed in the wool Idahoan and tho it may seem that I am a little harsh in my POV I know that there are people and places there that you should be pack'n heat. There seems to be a mentality with a few over there that is kind of a, to put it bluntly, F-you, I'll defend it to the death....yours, even if it's a damn dog. The biggest problem that (and you may know this) I can see is that you really can't get a feel for what may be a brewing in a certain situation and the given dynamic seems to be ever evolving, it can be as simple as an old grandma type that comes across as sweet as pecan pie but in a heartbeat she can turn into a bobcat with a shaved ***.

                    I hope that you guys get what you need to do you job and I'm sure that it's going to take time but try to get some support behind you with the common sense public that is rational and take your fight to the top. I don't have any advice and I guess this is more of a note of support for you "middle LEO" little like a rock and a hard place at times I'll bet. Write letters and let it be known that "IF" something does happen, God forbid, the Congressmen and the other government officals you contact can't deny that they did know and again, heaven forbid something were to happen, their asses will be called into question.

                    There's an old saying I heard over there when I was a resident, "If you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly" Meaning get big with this my friend...

                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      Steve Great reply! They are all good though. I agree in most ways with all of them. It would just be nice knowing that when I put my behind on the line to help a Deputy with dog attack impound or seize a vicious dog on my own the owner will be in as much trouble as the dog when they attack me in my uniform. I personally train with the Custer County Sheriff's Office (I am City though), Idaho Fish and Game and The Idaho State police have both offered to "back me up" if needed. This is because I attend POST trainings when ever possible and treat those departments with the same respect I want to be treated with. We all deal with both angry citizens and politicians. I got in the ringer along with another departments officer for shooting a dog. However the dog was actively chasing humans! Oh and deer.

                      Stay Safe and thank to all of you back us lowly Code officers.

                      John Runer
                      Challis ACO
                      Last edited by jruner; 09-16-2009, 03:38 PM.

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