Email WV Code

Email: Chapter 8, Article 14, Section 3

§8-14-3. Powers, authority, and duties of law-enforcement officials and policemen.

The chief and any member of the police force or department of a municipality, any municipal sergeant, and any municipal fire marshal shall have all of the powers, authority, rights, and privileges within the corporate limits of the municipality with regard to the arrest of persons, the collection of claims, and the execution and return of any search warrant, warrant of arrest, or other process, which can legally be exercised or discharged by a deputy sheriff of a county: Provided, That any municipal fire marshal granted authority under this section shall have these powers, authority, rights, and privileges only to the limits described in §8-15-1 of this code. In order to arrest for the violation of municipal ordinances and as to all matters arising within the corporate limits and coming within the scope of his or her official duties, the powers of any chief, policeman, municipal fire marshal, or sergeant shall extend anywhere within the county or counties in which the municipality is located, and any chief, policeman, municipal fire marshal, or sergeant shall have the same authority of pursuit and arrest beyond his or her normal jurisdiction as has a sheriff. For an offense committed in his or her presence, any such officer may arrest the offender without a warrant and take the offender before the mayor or police court or municipal court to be dealt with according to law. His or her sureties are liable to all the fines, penalties, and forfeitures which a deputy sheriff is liable to, for any failure or dereliction in such office, to be recovered in the same manner and in the same courts in which the fines, penalties, and forfeitures are recovered against a deputy sheriff. In addition to the mayor, or police court judge or municipal court judge, if any, of a city, the chief of police of any municipality and in the absence from the station house of the chief of police the captains of police and lieutenants of police shall each have authority to administer oaths to complainants and to issue arrest warrants thereon for all violations of the ordinances of the municipality.

The mayor and police officers of every municipality and any municipal sergeant shall aid in the enforcement of the criminal laws of the state within the municipality, independently of any charter provision or any ordinance or lack of an ordinance with respect thereto, and to cause the arrest of, or arrest, any offender and take him or her before a magistrate to be dealt with according to the law. Failure on the part of any such official or officer to discharge any duty imposed by the provisions of this section is official misconduct for which he or she may be removed from office. Any official or officer has the same authority to execute a warrant issued by a magistrate, and the same authority to arrest without a warrant for offenses committed in his or her presence, as a deputy sheriff.

An officer or member of the police force or department of a municipality may not aid or assist either party in any labor trouble or dispute between employer and employee. They shall in these cases see that the statutes and laws of this state and municipal ordinances are enforced in a legal way and manner. Nor shall he or she engage in off-duty police work for any party engaged in or involved in the labor dispute or trouble between employer and employee.

The chief of police shall be charged with the keeping and security of the jail, and at any time that one or more prisoners are being held in the jail, he or she shall require that the jail be attended by a police officer or other responsible person.