Maine Revised Statutes

§2671. Police officers

1. Appointment.  Except as provided by charter, ordinance or section 2636, subsection 6, the municipal officers may appoint police officers for a definite term, and control and fix their compensation. Police officers, including chiefs of police, may be removed for cause after notice and hearing.
A. Before appointing any law enforcement officer, the municipal officers shall investigate the qualifications and background of any person being considered for appointment. This includes investigating the applicant's abilities, reputation for truthfulness and respect for the law. [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
B. An appointed law enforcement officer is subject to the training requirements of Title 25, chapter 341. [1993, c. 349, §64 (AMD).]
C. Notwithstanding section 2526, residency in the State is not a condition of initial or continued appointment as a municipal police officer. [1989, c. 279, §1 (NEW).]
[ 1993, c. 349, §64 (AMD) .]
2. Powers.  Police officers may serve criminal and traffic infraction processes and arrest and prosecute offenders of the law. A police officer has all the statutory powers of a constable, unless limited by charter or ordinance. No police officer has any authority in criminal or traffic infraction matters beyond the limits of the municipality in which the officer is appointed, except to:
A. Recapture a prisoner whom the officer has arrested and who has escaped; [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
B. Take a person before the District Court; [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
C. Execute a mittimus given to the officer by the District Court; [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
D. Pursue a person who has gone into another municipality and for whose arrest the officer has a warrant; [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
E. Arrest a person who travels beyond the limits of the municipality in which the officer is appointed when in fresh pursuit of that person. This paragraph applies to all crimes and traffic infractions. As used in this paragraph:
(1) With respect to Class A, Class B and Class C crimes, the term "fresh pursuit" is defined in Title 15, section 152; and
(2) With respect to Class D and Class E crimes and traffic infractions, "fresh pursuit" means instant pursuit of a person with intent to apprehend; or [1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. D, §6 (AMD).]
F. As provided for in section 2674. [1989, c. 104, Pt. A, §23 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
[ 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §23, Pt (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. D, §6 (AMD) .]
2-A. Optional powers.  Notwithstanding subsection 2, municipal officers may authorize a municipality's police officers who have met the requirements of Title 25, section 2804-C to perform any of the acts described in Title 17-A, section 15 while the police officers are outside the jurisdiction in which they are appointed if, when possible, the law enforcement agency of a foreign municipality in which the arrest is to be made is notified in advance or, when not possible, the law enforcement agency of the foreign municipality in which the arrest has been made is notified immediately after the arrest.
A. [2003, c. 233, §4 (RP).]
B. [2003, c. 233, §4 (RP).]
[ 2003, c. 233, §4 (AMD) .]
2-B. Liability.  When a municipal police officer makes an arrest, as authorized in subsection 2-A or subsection 4, outside of jurisdictional limits of the municipality in which the police officer is appointed, that police officer has the same immunity from tort liability and all of the pension, relief, disability, workers' compensation, insurance and any other benefits the police officer enjoys while performing duties within the police officer's appointing municipality.
[ 2005, c. 320, §1 (AMD) .]
3. Representation of the municipality in District Court.  The municipal officers may authorize a law enforcement officer certified by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, under Title 25, section 2803-A, subsection 1, to represent the municipality in District Court in the prosecution of alleged violations of ordinances which the officer may enforce. Under this subsection, the municipal officers may delegate their power to authorize law enforcement officers to represent the municipality to the municipality's full-time chief of police.
[ RR 2007, c. 1, §16 (COR) .]
4. Multijurisdictional crimes.  If there is probable cause to believe that more than one theft, forgery or negotiation of a worthless instrument committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct by the same or several persons has occurred in more than one municipal jurisdiction, a police officer in a municipality in which at least one of the thefts, forgeries or negotiations of worthless instruments was committed may investigate and assist in the prosecution of all the related thefts, forgeries or negotiations of worthless instruments, with the express authorization of the police officer's municipal officers.
[ 2005, c. 320, §2 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1987, c. 737, §§A2,C106 (NEW). 1989, c. 6, (AMD). 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD). 1989, c. 104, §§A23,C8,C10 D6 (AMD). 1989, c. 279, §1 (AMD). 1993, c. 349, §64 (AMD). 1993, c. 594, §2 (AMD). 2003, c. 233, §4 (AMD). 2005, c. 320, §§1,2 (AMD). RR 2007, c. 1, §16 (COR).