OLR Research Report


December 23, 2008

 

2008-R-0670

AGENCIES AND PEOPLE WITH POLICE POWERS

By: Veronica Rose, Principal Analyst

You asked us to update OLR Report 98-R-1145, which identifies agencies and people in the state with police powers. The report was based on a 1993 Connecticut attorney general's opinion.

According to the attorney general, “the performance of criminal law enforcement duties, police duties and police functions is property seen as encompassing one or more of the following activities: (1) enforcement of criminal or traffic laws, (2) preservation of public order, (3) the protection of live or property, and (4) the prevention, detection or investigation of crime” (Opinion 1993-028, September 21, 1993). Based on this definition, the attorney general listed the agencies and people in the state with police powers. We have updated the list to include Bureau of Child Enforcement officials, state and judicial marshals, and investigators in the State Treasurer's Office (see Table 1).

Table 1: Agencies and People with Police Powers

Agency or Official*

Powers

Statute

CGS

Agricultural fair grounds police (appointed by an agricultural society's board of managers or executive committee)

May arrest for disorderly conduct or other violations on fair grounds

22-124

Agricultural fair society officers and appointees

May arrest for gambling violations at or near agricultural shows

22-123

Agriculture commissioner

May exercise the same authority to arrest anywhere in the state for violation of the laws relating to dogs or domestic animals as sheriffs, police officers, or constables have in their jurisdictions

22-330

Animal control officers (regional)

May exercise the same authority to arrest in the region to which they are assigned for violation of laws relating to dogs or domestic animals as sheriffs, police officers or constables may exercise in their jurisdictions

22-330

Animal control officers (town)

May exercise the same authority to arrest in the town for which they are appointed for violation of any law relating to dogs or domestic animal as sheriffs, police officers or constables may exercise in their jurisdictions

22-330

Auxiliary police officers

During disasters and emergencies, they are responsible for evacuating personnel to shelter areas; control traffic and panic; and provide rescue, emergency medical, health and sanitation services following such disasters and emergencies

28-7 &

28-12(d)

Bailiffs

May arrest habitual truants

10-200

Blue Hills Hospital grounds security officers and patrolmen (appointed as state police officers)

May arrest for traffic-related violations on grounds

17a-465a

Bureau of Child Enforcement special police officers

Serve warrants or capias on child support matters; have all the powers of state policemen and state marshals

29-1g

Chief state's attorney's chief inspector and inspectors

Has same powers of arrest statewide as state police officers

51-286

53a-3

54-1f

Connecticut Humane Society agents (appointed as special police officers)

Have same powers as constables and police to arrest for violations of cruelty to animals laws

29-108b

Connecticut Juvenile Training School and Southbury Training school officials and employees

May arrest escaped parolees from these institutions

53-164

Conservation officers and special conservation officers

May arrest without warrant for violation of certain environment laws, including those pertaining to fisheries and games and parks and forests; full-time officers have the same powers to enforce the laws statewide as do sheriffs, policemen, or constables in their jurisdictions

15-154,

26-6

Department of Children and Family (DCF) officers authorized by the commissioner

May arrest DCF escapees or DCF parole violators without warrant

17a-8

DCF grounds security officers and patrolmen (appointed as state policemen by the public safety commissioner)

May arrest for traffic violations on grounds

17a-24

Department of Consumer Protection commissioner and authorized agents

May arrest without warrant for violations of the controlled substances and weights and measures laws.

21a-261

43-7

DOC employees authorized by the commissioner

May arrest within correctional institutions

53a-3(9)

DOC correction officers or other officer authorized by law to serve criminal process

Have power to arrest or hold parolee or inmate, at request of DOC or Parole Board, without written warrant

54-127

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) enforcement officers

May arrest for firearm discharge violations on highways

53-204

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services grounds security officers and patrol officers (appointed as state police officers)

May arrest for traffic related violations on grounds

17a-465

Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner and deputies and designated inspectors

Have the same authority to arrest for motor vehicle violations as policemen have in their jurisdictions

14-8

Fish and game constables

Responsible for enforcing fish and game laws in appointing municipality

26-6a

Harbor masters and their deputies

May arrest without warrant for boating violations

15-154

Housing authority police

Have the same powers and authority as local police officers if created after 1970; (those existing before October 1, 1970 have specified arrest powers)

8-44b

Lake patrolmen

May arrest without warrant for boating violations

15-154

Marine officers (certified)

May arrest without warrant for boating violations

15-154

Marshals (state)

Have powers of peace officers when exercising authority granted under any provision of the law

54-1f

Marshals (judicial)

Have powers of peace officers when performing the duties of a judicial marshal

54-1f

Police officers (municipal, state, and other legally organized force)

May arrest without previous complaint or warrant

7-281,

53a-3(9),

54-1f

Private persons

May arrest without warrant on reasonable information that the accused stands charged with a crime punishable by death or imprisonment for a term of more than one year (felony)

54-170

Probation officers (adult)

May arrest without a warrant defendants for probation violations or may deputize another officer with the power of arrest to do so

53a-32

Probation officers (juvenile) and juvenile matters investigators authorized by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator

May arrest juveniles on probation without a warrant

46b-125(b)

Shellfish wardens

May arrest for violation of shellfish laws

26-205

Shellfish police

Have the same powers as sheriffs to make arrests

26-206

Special constables (appointed)

Have authority of constables to arrest for crime in the town

7-92

Special constables for Clinton and Madison

May arrest without warrant for violations of shellfish limits on the Hammonasset River

26-277

Special police for:

- state property

May arrest for any offense committed within their precincts

29-18

- investigating public assistance fraud

Have all the powers conferred on state policemen, sheriffs, and their deputies

29-18a

- utility and transportation companies

May arrest for any offense committed upon premises or vehicles used by the companies

29-19

- armored cars

May act as policemen on the armored cars

29-20

- Division of Special Revenue

Have all the powers of state policemen while investigating or making arrests for off-track betting or lottery offenses

29-18c

- War industry premises

May arrest for offenses committed on the premises

29-21

- Department of Revenue Services

Have all the powers of state policemen

29-18b

State Capitol police

Have the same authority as local police officers and have jurisdiction to act in the performance of their duties statewide

2-1f

State park, state forest police

May arrest for violations on public reservations under DEP jurisdiction

23-18

State forest fire patrolmen and wardens

Have the powers of deputy sheriffs to arrest for violations of statutes pertaining to the protection of forest and timber land

23-37

23-40

State Treasurer's Office investigators

Have all the powers of peace officers, when investigating Second Injury Fund claims and employer compliance with certain other employment-related liability claims

31-349a

University police

Have the same authority within their jurisdictions as municipal police (University of Connecticut and its branches, the UConn Health Center, and the Connecticut State Universities)

10a-142

Veterans' Home security officers and patrol officers (appointed as state policemen)

May arrest or issue summons for traffic violations on Veterans' Home property

27-107

29-18

Volunteer auxiliary force established by the public safety commissioner

May arrest without warrant for violations of boating and water pollution laws

15-154

Waterworks special police

(commissioned by governor)

May arrest without warrant for offenses pertaining to the protection of water supplies

25-44

* Does not include the military, which has arrest powers for its own personnel. (The AG's opinion also included sheriffs and deputy sheriffs. Because sheriffs were replaced by marshals, we deleted them from the list.)

VR:df