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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004

    RFI: Federal Arrest Authority

    Good evening to all, a quick question:

    Within the federal government, what is the act that grants a federal agent or officer their legal ability to effect an arrest? Obviously their employing agency must give their blessing, but is it a particular training program, background & experience, or other factors that allow their organization to entrust an employee with powers?

    Secondary question: What groups within DHS (either at the HQ level or within its component agencies) do not require attendance at FLETC CITP and/or UPTP, yet afford their employees legal authority for arrest? Limited authority or full authority? (To my knowledge, certain positions within NPPD/FPS do not require full attendance at FLETC, only completion of particular components of the training.)

    I thank you all in advance for your assistance with this inquiry. Any feedback that you might be able to offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Stay safe,

    "Something strange happened to me this morning"
    "Was it a dream where you see yourself in, sort of, Sun God robes, on a pyramid, with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?"
    "Why am I the only person that has that dream?"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    In the office, questioning my life choices
    I can't speak to the second part of your question, but ATF agents' arrest authorities are codified in 18 USC 3051. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3051

    While an agent's time in service for pay and retirement begins at hire date, they must complete both CITP and the ATF Special Agent Basic Training (SABT) to be considered fully qualified agents.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    New York
    Statutory authority varies from agency to agency. If you’re looking for a specific one you jus. Have to use the google machine.
    Book 'em Dan-o.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    DHS CBP, generally, 19USC1589a as customs officers, also Title 8 for immigration purposes section 1357

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Firearms and/or enforcement authority, which are not inherently the same, varies from agency to agency, and in some cases even among different positions within that agency. At a statutory level, Congress will grant employees (either by a specific title such as criminal investigator or officer, or as designated by the head of the department/agency) with specific authorities such as firearms carry and use, service of warrants, arrests, and enforcement of Title 18 or other applicable USC titles/sections. In some cases, like the Inspector Generals, Congress will mandate approval from the Attorney General on the need for a particular agency to have statutory authority and that agency training and policies meet appropriate standards for a FLE.

    Assuming they have statutory authority, it then comes down to the agency to implement that authority through its own policies. No statute to my knowledge requires an agency to complete a specific FLE academy; that is defined by the agency, which is why some may grant waivers in certain cases.

    Waivers, even temporary ones, are much rarer than they used to be for liability reasons, but one example: an agency may authorize a lateral transfer who had previously completed a FLETC basic academy to carry a firearm or exercise certain police powers even before that employee completes the agency add-on. At one time FPS granted waivers to a lot of people based on prior training or a very basic program, but moved away from that for a whole host of reasons.

    Many agencies have different requirements for different positions. Specialty positions such as technical surveillance officers, security specialists, seized property specialists, etc., may not be granted arrest authority, and therefore may only need firearms and basic legal training to meet agency requirements.

    Reputation and delegation of authority is another thing that confuses this issue. USMS has specific requirements for deputation, depending on who and why they are deputizing a person or category of people, but agencies can have more strict requirements on top of that. Delegation mostly comes into place with federal police agencies, some of which still operate under authority from FPS. Implementation of that authority varies wildly from agency to agency regardless of whether it is based on a specific statute or delegation. VA Police statutory authority is not that much different from FPS, for example, but training requirements and policies for what they can and cannot do are very different.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    posts 1-2 times a year since 2007. If posts are accurante, should be employed in some capacity by USSS in 2007.

    asking "federal arrest authority" question is kinda WTF over
    Last edited by satpak77; 03-03-2018 at 18:45.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Behind a desk, crying
    Quote Originally Posted by satpak77 View Post

    posts 1-2 times a year since 2007. If posts are accurante, should be employed in some capacity by USSS in 2007.

    asking "federal arrest authority" question is kinda WTF over
    Seems as something must've happened to negate said employment. Of course this is just BIG speculating.
    It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both. - Niccolo Machiavelli

    Most people respect the badge, everybody respects the gun.

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. - Colonel Jessup

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Where I hang my hat.
    I. 22 USC 2709- Department of State
    2. I think you are alluding to the various enforcing agencies that were previously under INS, which had its own training program for many years. I am not certain what ERO goes through, but I believe it is akin to CITP, and the legacy INS folks have worn the new hat for years and so the previous paradigm no longer exists. Someone correct me if I am mistaken.
    Last edited by Sandles2Sidearm; 03-03-2018 at 22:36.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Where the sausage gets made
    As usual, nsedet gave an extremely thorough explanation - after 18 years in the G, I still learn a thing or two every time he posts.

    If you search "Statutory Authority OIG" in the Google machine, a 2014 report form the Congressional Research Service details the three ways OIGs obtain law enforcement authority. It's an informative read...



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