The power to arrest for federal officials in Indiana may face limits this year should State Senator Dennis Kruse’s legislation SB-127, the Indiana Sherrifs First Act, becomes law. That would mean as Sec. 1(a) states,
“a federal employee who is not designated by state law to act as a state law enforcement officer may not make an arrest, a search, or a seizure in Indiana unless, before making the arrest, search, or seizure, thefederal employee obtains the written permission of the sheriff or the designee of the sheriff who has jurisdiction in the county in which the arrest, search, or seizure will occur.”
There are exceptions in Sec. 1(b) which you can read here. The feds retain arresting power in federal enclaves, when a crime is imminent or witnessed and requires immediate action, the subject of arrest is employed by the sheriff, or if a state law designates the federal employee as a state law enforcer.
On Monday, January 7 the bill was read then introduced to the Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure. If it passes, the law would take effect July 1. One sheriff hopes to see such a difference made.
“This is the type of positive state legislation that will help reign in federal usurpations of our Constitution,” said Sheriff of Elkhart County, Brad Rogers. If you don’t remember the name, this is the sheriff who took on the FDA when they threatened dairy farmers in his jurisdiction. Rogers continues, “However, we the people still have an obligation to elect sheriffs who will uphold their oath of office. Otherwise, a law such as this won’t go far in protecting us from what it is designed to do.”
SB-127 ends off on a note regarding the cornerstone of the argument for separating arrest power.
Sec. 6. Under the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and the state of Indiana’s compact with the other states, the general assembly declares that any federal law that purports to provide federal employees with the authority of a sheriff in Indiana is:(1) not recognized by and specifically rejected by the state of Indiana; and(2) invalid in Indiana.
If you live in Indiana, contact your state legislator. Let him or her know of your support for SB-127 and that you expect him/her to become a co-sponsor. Click here to find your legislative rep and senator.
Track the status of Sheriffs First Legislation around the country HERE