WA Police May Execute Warrants Outside Their Jurisdiction


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Police can operate outside their assigned jurisdiction if necessary, an expert told the News Tribune on Wednesday after a Seattle police officer shot someone in Puyallup while serving a search warrant.

David Sweeney of DT Sweeney Consulting, LLC said police periodically move outside of their assigned jurisdiction, although this is not extremely common. Officers are authorized to take action anywhere in the state when there is a “need” to take some type of action.

Actions can include things like issuing a warrant, Sweeney said.

“When a police department has a search warrant to execute, it is customary to contact the jurisdiction where the warrant is served… sometimes they ask for help and sometimes they don’t,” Sweeney said.

Police may also seek help from other jurisdictions depending on the size of the mission and the number of people available, Sweeney said. All police departments generally operate under a police manual, which sets out guidelines for what officers can and cannot do.

DT Sweeney Consulting, LLC is a Seattle-based consulting service. Sweeney previously worked for the Seattle Police Department as a SWAT lieutenant and sergeant.


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