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  1. #1
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    Nov 2016
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    130

    Default Constitutional to Get Cited by a Civilian Who Has Been "Empowered" by the State?

    I don't know if "empowered" is the right word here, but it's all I could think of.

    I thought that only sworn law enforcement officers can stop a civilian, cite them for violating a statute, and testify in court against them. And that a civilian, even when instructed to by the town/city/state, can not do these things. Is that not true?

  2. #2
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Constitutional to Get Cited by a Civilian Who Has Been "Empowered" by the State?

    How about you tell us what happened and in what state so we can provide an intelligent response.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2016
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    130

    Default Re: Constitutional to Get Cited by a Civilian Who Has Been "Empowered" by the State?

    Berkeley, CA is going to have city workers stop and cite civilians for traffic violations.

    https://hotair.com/archives/jazz-sha...traffic-stops/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    8,006

    Default Re: Constitutional to Get Cited by a Civilian Who Has Been "Empowered" by the State?

    They could be planning to deputize them.
    I am the Mouse Man

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    1,279

    Default Re: Constitutional to Get Cited by a Civilian Who Has Been "Empowered" by the State?

    For many years now, California has had several laws stating that while certain civilian government employees are are not peace officers, they may exercise the powers of arrest of a peace officer provided they have successfully complete a specialized training course. It has been mainly used to empower civilian animal control, parking enforcement and code enforcement personnel.

    In this case, it's simply a matter of amending those laws to include the new "Traffic Warden" position, or whatever silly, non-confrontational, warm and fuzzy Kumbaya name they decide to give them.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Constitutional to Get Cited by a Civilian Who Has Been "Empowered" by the State?

    Slash the PD budget in half and get untrained people to do the job they were paying police to do.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    But it is Berkeley.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: Constitutional to Get Cited by a Civilian Who Has Been "Empowered" by the State?

    Quote Quoting riffwraith
    View Post
    Berkeley, CA is going to have city workers stop and cite civilians for traffic violations.

    https://hotair.com/archives/jazz-sha...traffic-stops/
    If you don't like the idea, don't commit any traffic violations.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Constitutional to Get Cited by a Civilian Who Has Been "Empowered" by the State?

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    If you don't like the idea, don't commit any traffic violations.
    Or what some untrained garbage collector thinks is a traffic violation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    2,745

    Default Re: Constitutional to Get Cited by a Civilian Who Has Been "Empowered" by the State?

    Quote Quoting riffwraith
    View Post
    I thought that only sworn law enforcement officers can stop a civilian, cite them for violating a statute, and testify in court against them. And that a civilian, even when instructed to by the town/city/state, can not do these things..
    Why did you think this? What would make you think that only "sworn law enforcement officers" may testify in court?


    Quote Quoting riffwraith
    View Post
    Is that not true?
    I'm aware of no law in California that would prohibit the practice described in the article to which you linked (or any of the articles from more credible sources on the subject). There certainly isn't anything in either the federal or California Constitution that would prohibit it.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Constitutional to Get Cited by a Civilian Who Has Been "Empowered" by the State?

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
    View Post
    Slash the PD budget in half and get untrained people to do the job they were paying police to do.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    But it is Berkeley.
    In reality, here's what will happen:

    1. The city will see crime rise. Civilian Traffic enforcers will lack the training, experience, desire or motivation to see other indicators of criminality that are often observed during a traffic stop. As a result, criminals that might have otherwise been arrested will be set free, crimes that may be in progress will be allowed to continue unabated, contraband will not be confiscated and stolen property will not be recovered.

    2. If the new "Traffic Wardens" are completely unbiased in their enforcement, they may discover that people of a given ethnicity do not commit traffic violations in numbers proportionate to their percentage of the population. Once this is discovered and to achieve parity, unofficial quotas will then be imposed, limiting the number of citations issued to people belonging to certain "protected" groups.

    3. Police officers usually call in the license plate of the vehicle they are stopping. In turn dispatch runs the plate to see if it is stolen or has any wants associated with it. This is for safety purposes, the keep the officer from being shot or assaulted by a potential violent felon who may be afraid of going to jail. Similarly, police officers routinely run warrant checks on people they stop, both to see if they are wanted, but also (and most importantly) for officer safety reasons, to ensure they don't get shot by some felon they have unknowingly sopped who is afraid of going back to prison. Genberally speaking, civilians are not authorized to access these systems. Eventually, a civilian will stop one of these ethically challenged individuals who lacks the capacity to understand thet their friendly neighborhood Traffic Warden is not the police and they will get blown away.

    4. Questions will arise as to new artificial limits on the authority of real Police as imposed by city government. Often police will see possible indicators of criminality involving people in a vehicle and use a traffic violation as basis for stopping that vehicle and speaking with those individuals. With the creation of this new traffic enforcement agency, will city government now administratively prohibit the police from using what has been proved to be a useful investigative tool?

    Eventually, after crime rises and a few traffic wardens are sacrificed on the altar of political correctness by "good boys who were turning their lives around", city government will come to realize that their Grand Experiment was perhaps in error. Traffic enforcement will then be returned to the police, who will be vilified once again.

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