Authority of local/state police on railroad property.

General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

Authority of local/state police on railroad property.

Postby Robert Paniagua » Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:04 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:Thats why railroad police is regulated in Code of federal regulations, railway workers are not regulated and do not get licences to carry on federal controlled property.
even local police does not have unlimited powers on railroads, infact their power is severly limited.
http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/wais ... 07_06.html


Dutch,

The CFR citation you provided supports exactly what I said. Railroad police are "commissioned" by a state in which the railroad operates and are governed by the laws of that state:

§ 207.2 Definitions.
As used in this part:
(a) Railroad police officer means a peace officer who is commissioned in his or her state of legal residence or state of primary employment and employed by a railroad to enforce state laws for the protection of railroad property, personnel, passengers, and/or cargo.

Another section (§ 207.5 Authority in States where officer not commissioned) provides that once a state approves an officer, that officer has powers in other states where the railroad is located, to the extent of the laws governing such police in that other state.

No where in the CFR regulation does it say that non-railroad (e.g, state, county or municipal) police powers are limited, nor does it say that state law is pre-empted. It is well settled by the courts that pre-emption requires an express statement or at least clear and convincing evidence of an intent to pre-empt. Such with respect to police powers is not present in the regulation or the statute.

Please also see retired Officer 3rdrail's posts for further clarification. I've spent 30 years representing my employer as an attorney primarily in state and federal regulatory agency practice, and interpreting CFR and statutes has become second nature. Just like many of your very informative posts from your job experience! :-)


Yes guys, this is just to reiterate that trespassing on train tracks (whether active or dormant) is notm only unsafe but also illegal, and every local police officer whose community has train tracks running thou their city or town can get you for trespassing. So guys, let's remember that
~Robert Paniagua
Moderator: WMATA :: General Railroad Operations
User avatar
Robert Paniagua
 
Posts: 4418
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:11 am
Location: Weymouth, MA 02188

Return to Operations, Facilities, Maps and Resources

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest