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Ritterm

What can we do that Law Enforcement can do???

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Haven't you ever wondered if we can do the tasks that law enforcement can do, such as Apprehension, Search and Detention, or First Aid Assistance in an accident, or Search and Rescue, Well I have, because of my felony i can't legally be a law enforcement official, but i am wondering if i can still do some of the stuff that the police can do

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36 minutes ago, Ritterm said:

Haven't you ever wondered if we can do the tasks that law enforcement can do, such as Apprehension, Search and Detention, or First Aid Assistance in an accident, or Search and Rescue, Well I have, because of my felony i can't legally be a law enforcement official, but i am wondering if i can still do some of the stuff that the police can do

 

Exactly what you can do will depend on the laws of your state, the circumstances at the time, and what qualifications you have.

 

Many states have laws that allow for citizen’s arrest in certain circumstances, but a citizen making such an arrest had better be really sure he or she understands that law and that the arrest is appropriate or that citizen might end up facing liability for his/her own wrongful actions.

 

A private person cannot do a search of someone else or another person’s property without the consent of that other person or the person in rightful possession of the property to be searched.

 

If you are skilled in first aid you may render assistance at an accident until appropriate medical personnel arrive. The laws of most states shield you from liability in that circumstance in what are known as “good samaritan” laws. But unless you know what you are doing it is better in most circumstances to simply call for help as you could possibly make the situation worse.

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2 minutes ago, Ritterm said:

where would i found my state's laws on detaining, and what about other law enforcement duties, can i perform any of them

 

The laws on citizen’s arrest will either be in your state’s statutes or in the state case law (court decisions). As you have not indicated in what state you reside I can't point you to the applicable law on it.

 

Apart from a citizen’s arrest, there is not much else that is truly law enforcement work that you can do as private citizen.

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5 minutes ago, Ritterm said:

i live in kansas

 

The Kansas law on citizen’s arrest is Kansas Statute 22-2403:
 

Quote

 

22-2403. Arrest by private person. A person who is not a law enforcement officer may arrest another person when:

(1) A felony has been or is being committed and the person making the arrest has probable cause to believe that the arrested person is guilty thereof; or

(2) any crime, other than a traffic infraction or a cigarette or tobacco infraction, has been or is being committed by the arrested person in the view of the person making the arrest.

 

 

Note that while the statute authorizes arrests in those circumstances, since you do not have a warrant (and cannot apply for one) you cannot enter on to the property of another without permission to make the arrest. Moreover, you must take care in the force used to effect the arrest. A very old Kansas case, which appears to still be good law, states the following:

 

Quote

Complaint is made of a charge of the court relating to arrest. On this subject the court instructed that, “Where a felony has been recently committed by any person, and a private citizen has reasonable cause to suspect that such person is guilty of its commission, the law authorized such private citizen, while acting in good faith, to arrest the person who has committed the felony in order to prevent his escape, and in so doing he may use such personal force as appears necessary, under the circumstances, to effect the arrest; and, in such case, if the person whose arrest is attempted has reasonable grounds for believing that is the actual intention of the person attempting the arrest, and his motives for so doing, he would not be justifiable in law in resisting the arrest.” This instruction is correct, and applicable to the facts in the case. Mowry had committed a felony, and was instantly pursued by the deceased in an endeavor to arrest him. The deceased was pursuing him in a temperate and proper manner, without arms and without violence, to make the arrest. He had the right to make the arrest in this manner without a warrant, and hence the request for an instruction upon the subject of a void and illegal arrest was properly refused, and the argument of the appellant upon that question does not apply.

 

State v. Mowry, 37 Kan. 369, 15 P. 282, 285–86 (1887). As a convicted felon, you are prohibited by federal law from possession of a firearm in any case, but you need to be very careful because if you use too much force to make the citizens arrest you may end up with a huge judgment against you for personal injury and other claims.

 

Note that the statute says for any crime other than a felony you must have actually witnessed the crime to make the arrest, and you cannot make any arrest for traffic or tobacco infractions (nor can you write citations for those). For a felony, if you didn’t witness the crime, you need to have probable cause to believe the person committed the crime. Get that wrong and once again you may end up with a very large judgment against you.

 

By the way, when you make the arrest, you then contact law enforcement for them to come out and take over. You don't take the arrested person to jail or the police station yourself.

 

You can’t go around impersonating police, including wearing a uniform or doing/saying things that give the impression to others that you are cop. You can’t go around handing out citations for offenses. You can’t enter property of others to make your arrest, or to do searches, or whatever without the consent of the person in rightful possession of the property, and you can’t go around town searching people without their consent or detaining them to investigate something.

 

As I said before, outside of the ability to make a citizen’s arrest there is not much else that is truly law enforcement work that you may do. However much you may desire to play cop, what you can do as a private person is very limited. Other than arresting a person who commits a crime that you personally witness, it is best to leave everything else to real law enforcement.

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