Board of Supervisors Gives Initial OK to More Police Powers for "Sheriff Special Officers"

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The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a proposal to allow uniformed civilian sheriff's department employees the power to write citations, make misdemeanor arrests and carry guns, batons and stun guns.

The plan apparently does not specify if there is a "Barney Fife Rule" preventing those guns from being loaded.

The ordinance comes a year after state officials declared Sheriff Special Officers could not be considered peace officers due to lack of training. The board proposal would classify these employees as "public officers." Oh, and they would also have the power to detain felony law breakers, although they would have to wait until sworn deputies arrive to make actual arrests.

Most special officers will work the courthouse, county offices and John Wayne Airport. And, despite the upgrade in police powers, they will not get salary or benefit bumps, according to county officials.

But you'll still have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool Sheriff Special Officer Barney Fife!

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



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