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After The Arrest

What Should A Security Guard/Proprietary Private Security Officer Do After An Arrest?

After you arrest someone, you must turn him or her over to the police WITHOUT DELAY. You should write down the time you (1) made the arrest, and (2) called the police. If you delay too long in calling the police, you may be guilty of an illegal detention even though you might have spent the time questioning the suspect.

What Is Reasonable Delay?

Reasonable delays, however, are usually acceptable. For example, if you had to walk a half-mile to get to the nearest phone or wait at your post for your partner to relieve you, these would be considered reasonable delays. However, if a phone is handy and you wait an hour before calling, this could be considered an unreasonable delay.

What Is The Peace Officers Responsibility?

The police upon arrival at the scene will evaluate the elements of the crime, detention, and arrest. They will then make the determination as to whether they must take custody of the person from the security guard/proprietary private security officer. If the elements of the crime that the person was arrested for have not been legally met, the officer could simply release the person and leave the scene after giving the security guard/proprietary private security officer an explanation.

If you have made a legal arrest, the police, by law, must take custody of the suspect. Custody means “to take charge of.” If the suspect is charged with a serious offense, the police will probably take him/her down to the station to take fingerprints and make photo identification. Also, they might not release the suspect unless bail is posted.

Taking custody of suspects charged with less serious offenses may not involve going to the police station. The police may choose simply to cite and release the suspect pending a hearing. This is also considered “taking into custody.” The police will take down a statement of what happened, so you should take care to observe as many factual details as possible. The police will also investigate to collect evidence. You may also be asked to testify at the trial.

Release from Custody

If the peace officer decides to release the suspect, Penal Code Section 849 (c) provides that the peace officer shall include a record of release in the report. Thereafter, such arrest shall not be deemed an arrest, but detention only (Penal Code §849.5).

Private Person’s Arrest – Misdemeanor

If the suspect is charged with a misdemeanor (such as trespassing, petty theft, or disturbing the peace), you will be recorded as the person making the arrest. You cannot arrest a suspect for a misdemeanor unless you actually see a violation happen.

If you arrest a suspect, you must call the police. When they arrive, turn the suspect over to them and make your statement.

Other things you may be expected to do if you make a misdemeanor arrest include:

  1. Meeting with the district attorney (usually the next day) to discuss the case and give a sworn statement regarding what happened.
  2. Attending the suspect’s hearing.
  3. Testifying at the suspect’s trial.