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  • Special Agents doing traffic enforcement

    Has anyone ever dealt with that issue before? Federal Special Agent pulling someone over for speeding, stop sign violation, etc?

  • #2
    They can, if it’s allowed per an MOU.
    Now go home and get your shine box!

    Comment


    • #3
      Sure whatever tickles your pickle. At the end of the day, you're going to end up calling the real police if whatever situation requires more then verbal judo.

      Comment


      • #4
        In Colorado some can, some can’t. It usually only happens in cases of obvious threat to public safety, like a DUI, or in support of their federal mission. They aren’t just writing speeding tickets.

        There’s an ATF agent in northern Colorado who comes up on our county net for traffic stops every once in a while.
        "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

        "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

        Comment


        • #5
          1. Some states give full police powers to federal agents, some give none, and some give limited authority (i.e.- emergency situations, mutual aid, warrant service, etc.).

          2. Regardless of the authority, sometimes agents find themselves in situations where action must be taken.

          Real life example:

          Agent is on duty and enters freeway ramp and notices the truck in front of him swerve. When on freeway, truck begins to swerve even more, crossing lanes and forcing other drivers to evade.

          Agent calls 911 and is advised no state police units are in the vicinity. Agent is aware local agencies do not work the freeways as a matter of policy.

          Agent observes a road crew in the distance, working on a bridge. Construction barrels on road.

          Agent watches the truck careen into three barrels at 80mph. Barrels fly off the road.

          Agent realizes he has no state authority to make traffic stop but also realizes construction crew is in immediate danger. Agent would rather explain to bosses why he made a traffic stop than look himself in the mirror for not doing anything and people getting hurt or killed.

          Agent makes vehicle stop. Driver hunches over and vomits. Hypodermic needles in truck. Driver is 'detained' until local units arrive. Driver is identified as heroin user who earlier scored skag and shot up prior to driving. Driver is arrested by local units.

          Agent goes on his way. Agent had no statutory authority to enforce traffic laws but had moral authority to protect life and moral authority trumps statutory authority.


          Last edited by Ratatatat; 01-28-2020, 10:30 AM.
          Chance favors the prepared mind.

          -Louis Pasteur

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          • PtownVAMike
            PtownVAMike commented
            Editing a comment
            Absolutely. Sometimes, you have to "think outside your jurisdiction".

          • Matthew_B
            Matthew_B commented
            Editing a comment
            In my state (Oregon), you can repeat all of the above in a recent case. It ends with the courts throwing the case because the stop was made by an unauthorized LEO and the subsequent evidence is all excluded because the legally recognized LEO did not personally witness anything.

            It's all stupid as hell because if I, as a civilian, attested to the reckless driving, a LEO can make the stop and it stands.

          • Ratatatat
            Ratatatat commented
            Editing a comment
            Even if the case gets tossed later in court, at least the situation was made safe at time of stop....

        • #6
          If he ran over a Bots Dots then it’s a Federal Crime under DOT...
          Now go home and get your shine box!

          Comment


          • #7
            I had 2 Secret Service agents pull a reckless driver. We did the summons and put the agents name on it, using a court date convenient for him.

            No problem.

            Comment


            • #8
              In my state (Oregon), you can repeat all of the above in a recent case. It ends with the courts throwing the case because the stop was made by an unauthorized LEO and the subsequent evidence is all excluded because the legally recognized LEO did not personally witness anything.
              That may be specific to Oregon law, or the view of certain specific judges.

              A peace officer out of his jurisdiction can always act as a private citizen, and using the emergency equipment available to hand to increase public safety while doing so doesn't change that.
              "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

              "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

              Comment


              • #9
                There's a public safety aspect of it so it shouldn't be a big issue. There are some appellate court cases out there about it.
                I had situation similar to what Rat had in another city. I went ahead stopped the elderly lady. Turned out she wasn't DUI but had some other medical or mental health related issues going on. But she drove into the other lane several times and into oncoming traffic.
                Last edited by westside popo; 02-09-2020, 01:33 PM.

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