This is a discussion that came up over the issue of whether certain part-time police officers were eligible for membership in a law-enforcement-officer-only webboard. Below is the enabling legislation, which has been interpreted (long ago) by the corporation counsel of the city involved. Without revealing that interpretation, here's what I'm hoping to get opinions on:
Based on this language, what are the differences in powers between special and regular police? Specifically: do special police have arrest powers when off-duty (assuming they meet the same psychological, physical, education and training requirements as regular officers)? Can these officers make an on-view arrest on probable cause, detain on reasonable suspicion, and execute both arrest and search warrants? Based on the construction of the first sentence of the paragraph that empowers them (and particularly the positioning of the comma), which powers are restricted to within City limits: the power to serve process only, or ALL powers including the apprehension and arrest of criminals?
Thanks for any thoughts. Below is the language in question. The state in question is Connecticut. There are no pending cases, criminal or civil, in which this is an issue; it is purely for educational purposes that I inquire.
Powers and Duties of Members of the Regular Police. Sworn regular members of the Police Department shall have all the powers of peace officers under the general laws of the State. They shall also have power to arrest any person found by them violating any of the penal ordinances of the City or laws of the State, and to take such person before the proper judge, which person shall be dealt with in the same manner as if he had been arrested upon a warrant duly issued by such judge. They shall report, under regulations to be prescribed by the Chief, violations of law or ordinances coming to their knowledge in any way. They shall also execute any warrant for search or arrest issued by any judge of the State in any part of the State according to the tenor thereof. They shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to them by the Chief.
Any member of the Police Department may serve:
(1) Any criminal process for any offense committed within the City;
(2) Any process to recover or to enforce any penalty for the violation of any municipal ordinance issued out of any court, or judge;
(3) Any process, subpoena or bench warrant, relating to any offense committed in the City; and
(4) Any process or subpoena issued by the State Medical Examiner in any inquest held in the City relative to the death of any person.
Special Police shall be appointed by the Police Commission and shall have all the powers of the regular police in the apprehension and arrest of criminals, and in the service of process within the limits of the City. The Police Commission may omit the powers of a member of the special police unless the Chief of Police certifies the member has the same psychological and physical requirements, education, and training as a member of the regular police force. There shall not at any time be more than two hundredspecial police unless otherwise provided by the Board of Representatives at the request of the Mayor. The terms of the special police shall not extend beyond the next June 30th after the term of the Mayor during whose terms they were appointed.