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  • Amtrak Police

    Because Amtrak is a national railroad company and is quasi-governmental, does that mean therefore that the Amtrak Police Department (APD) is a federal LE agency? If so, does it have the same authority and jurisdiction as any other federal agency? Which powers does APD have above & beyond the safety of Amtrak crew and passengers (as well as over any incidents within railroad rights-of-way)? Can it be compared to California where all peace officers have authority throughout the entire state?

    And in the case of crossing incidents, which LE agency is responsible for handling them? Is it Amtrak PD, or whatever state, county or municipal agency that has jurisdiction in that particular area?

    Thanks!
    It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

  • #2
    From what I can gather Amtrak Officers have the same power and authority as the local police or sheriff department. Seems they have dual training. They go to FLETC but also need to have a state certificate from where they are assigned. ALOT of what I read was they primary jurisdiction over the railways and maintenance yards of of Amtrak. But I could've read they cover like x amount of feet from the tracks.

    wonder where the file charges, local,state or federal court. Wonder if they are allowed to handle anything witnessed or if it doesn't fallen within their realm it's passed off to local.

    thought there were a few Amtrak Officers on here.
    I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

    It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

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    • #3
      There is a non-staffed Amtrak station within my patrol area that we make sweeps through. I think I've seen Amtrak cops once or twice in the last five or six years. From what I understand, there are much fewer 'railroad' police than there used to be. Only a handful or less per region is what I've been told. We don't really look for any railroad cops to come out and take over incidents that happen. If something does occur, we're the ones who get called.

      The jurisdictional issues are sort of... nebulous. I never bothered to understand it all. I do know there is so much overlap of responsibilities that the specifics don't matter. I can arrest for criminal acts or write a citation for trespassing if I find someone on the tracks who doesn't belong. I can write a crash report at a crossing if need be... although I think other federal agencies, like NTSA, also get involved if its a major incident, like fatalities, or a derailment.

      You can trust just about every officer you work with to risk their life to save yours, but don't ever leave your lunch in the breakroom refrigerator.

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      • #4
        I work with someone who worked for amtrack and he told me that they arent really a federal agency. Benefits and all that arent the same. Ive also crossed paths with a few due to their being a rather large station in my area and they dont leave that station.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yea, they are not like US Capitol Police, USSS UD, Mint Police, the VA Police, etc.

          moparfan said it best. At least in California, they are more State than “Fed” but aren’t really either. They are railroad cops. They can act as back up and (I believe) file charges at the State and Fed levels. But outside of a hub or a special issue do not ever expect to see one.

          They are not in the Federal Retirement System. They are a railroad style retirement.
          semper destravit

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          • #6
            Amtrak is a national corporation whose stock is wholly owned by the US Government. Amtrak police primarily receive their law enforcement authority from state's railroad police laws but can enforce both state and federal law.

            For certain reasons Amtrak is both a private police agency and a federal agency. Amtrak's benefits are not those under the Office of Personnel Management's Health benefits for federal employees but prior to 1992-1993, OPM did all of Amtrak's police testing and background investigations. Because they're a railroad, retirement falls under the railroad retirement and it's own 401k. There has been at times talk of them moving over to the FERS/TSP retirement but for most Amtrak employees they would lose money
            I don't answer recruitment messages....

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            • #7
              In terms of accidents in my area the local PD and/or Transit Police (a JPA) investigate accidents. I believe the NTSB comes in for derailments or other serious accidents/incidents.

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a Union Pacific cop roll out one night. A freight train hit and obviously killed a guy walking on the tracks. I ended up doing the report, calling the coroner and notifying our homicide unit. Got no idea what the rail cop did. But from what I heard it's a great gig.

                at one point their retirement was great. Not sure which railroad had it but when you retired your spouse or person of choosing also received a retirement at 50% of yours. But changed when the retirement boards caught onto to a loophole. If you and your spouse retired you both received the 50% retirement on top of your normal retirement.
                I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

                It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have seen the Canadian National Railroad Police make traffic stops in Detroit around the abandoned Central Train Depot but I've never spoken to any of them. They seem to stay within half a mile of the depot.
                  Originally posted by RSGSRT
                  We've reached a point where natural selection doesn't have a chance in hell of keeping up with the procreation of imbeciles.
                  Why is it acceptable for you to be an idiot, but not acceptable for me to point it out?

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                  • #10
                    Found this site has good info. Wyoming and Minissotia (I think) are the only 2 states that's don't grant authority to rail police departments.

                    http://www.therailroadpolice.com/p-r-police-laws/
                    I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

                    It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I work for APD and orlandofed5-0 covered most of what the OP asked. You don't necessarily go to FLETC, it depends on where you live and/or where you're assigned. I work in NY and was received training from the NYPD. Some people just go to FLETC.

                      In terms of police powers, it depends on the state. No matter which state we're in however, we can take law enforcement action as it relates directly to the railroad. In the division I work in, the states we cover give us full law enforcement authority. We can also enforce local ordinances where I work.
                      Last edited by Decided; 02-01-2018, 09:47 PM.
                      Play stupid games and win stupid prizes. An all expenses paid trip with travel, meals, and accommodations included!

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                      • #12
                        I applied to Southern Pacific Union RR Police, but I got called in by them the last week of my department's academy. I had to respectfully decline their offer since I had so much invested in my department already.

                        That was back in the '80s so I don't remember much when I interviewed with them, but I do remember that I had to be a certified peace officer in Texas, New Mexico and I think in Arizona also. I don't remember anything about the Feds being involved, but things may have changed unless since AMTRAK covers the US and SPURRPD only covered a certain area, Fed authority would be a better choice.

                        I worked with some of their officers along with Union Pacific RR PD officers over the years, but it was rare and far in between. I have some negative stories about them, but I don't want to vent them here.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Aerohead View Post
                          I have seen the Canadian National Railroad Police make traffic stops in Detroit around the abandoned Central Train Depot but I've never spoken to any of them. They seem to stay within half a mile of the depot.
                          They actually have U.S hq's in the United States. They also have offices around the us... Detroit and a bunch of other places. Had some words with some of em. Pretty good gig.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by orlandofed5-0 View Post
                            Amtrak is a national corporation whose stock is wholly owned by the US Government. Amtrak police primarily receive their law enforcement authority from state's railroad police laws but can enforce both state and federal law.

                            For certain reasons Amtrak is both a private police agency and a federal agency. Amtrak's benefits are not those under the Office of Personnel Management's Health benefits for federal employees but prior to 1992-1993, OPM did all of Amtrak's police testing and background investigations. Because they're a railroad, retirement falls under the railroad retirement and it's own 401k. There has been at times talk of them moving over to the FERS/TSP retirement but for most Amtrak employees they would lose money
                            Does anyone know if having UPTP would help make the process of becoming an Amtrak cop easier?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NCG128 View Post

                              Does anyone know if having UPTP would help make the process of becoming an Amtrak cop easier?
                              Not really. You would skip being sent to training, that is all
                              I don't answer recruitment messages....

                              Comment

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