North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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March 16, 1977

Subject:

Company and Special Police; Power of Arrest; Territorial Jurisdiction; G.S. 74A-2 G.S. 160A-285; G.S. 15-401, et seq; G.S. 15A-304

Requested By:

The Honorable Willis P. Whichard Member of the Senate North Carolina Assembly

Question:

May Duke University's special policemen, commissioned by the Governor pursuant to Chapter 74A, make arrests with a warrant within the territorial jurisdiction provided for in G.S. 74A-2?

Conclusion:

Yes.

G.S. 74A-2 confers upon policemen appointed pursuant to G.S. 74A-1, the following powers:

"(b) Such policeman, while in the performance of the duties of their employment, shall severally possess all the powers of municipal and county police officers to make arrests for both felonies and misdemeanors:

(1)
Upon property owned by or in the possession and control of their respective employers; or
(2)
Upon property owned by or in the possession and control of any person or persons who shall have contracted with their employer or employers to provide security for protective services for such property; or
(3)
Upon any other premises while in hot pursuit of any person or persons for any offense committed upon property vested in subdivisions (1) and (2) above."
G.S.
15A-401 specifies when an officer with and without warrant may arrest within the officer's territorial jurisdiction of State, county and municipal police offices. However, since G.S. 74A-2 specifies the territorial jurisdiction of company police, it would control over G.S. 15A-402.
G.S.
160A-285 confers upon city policemen, within the corporate limits, all the powers invested in law enforcement officers by statute or common law, and grants the power to serve civil and criminal process directed to them by any officers of the General Court of Justice.
G.S.
160A-286 provides that city police may exercise such authority within one mile of the corporate limits. Again, the territorial jurisdiction of a company police officer is controlled by
G.S.
74A-2.

It should be noted that under G.S. 74A-2, city streets and public roads not owned, in possession of or controlled by the employer of the company police would be outside their territorial jurisdiction unless the officer was in hot pursuit of a person who has committed an offense on the property of the employer.

Under G.S. 15A-304, an order for arrest an the warrant is directed to a law-enforcement officer. A company policeman under G.S. 74A is a law-enforcement office and may execute the warrant within his territorial jurisdiction.

Rufus L. Edmisten Attorney General

James F. Bullock Senior Deputy Attorney General