AFTER THE ARREST
WHAT SHOULD A SECURITY GUARD/PROPRIETARY PRIVATE SECURITY
OFFICER DO AFTER AN ARREST?
After you arrest someone, you must contact 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?
Upon arrival at the scene, the police will assess the situation and make a
determination as to whether or not they will take into custody or place under
arrest the subject of your citizen’s arrest. Custody means “to take charge of.” If the suspect is charged with a serious offense, the police may take him or her to the station to take fingerprints and photographs. 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 Section 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, make your
statement; the peace officer may choose to release or arrest the suspect.
Other things you may be expected to do if you make a misdemeanor arrest
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.