Anyone ever handled an assault on the premises of a federal post office between non-postal employees? Is it yours (state), or is it theirs (feds)?
I'm having trouble deciphering 18 USC 7, which defines the feds' territorial jurisdiction. If I'm reading things right, jurisdiction may hinge on whether the feds owned the land or just rented the space for their operations -- but I'd prefer not to have to rely on two cases from 1908 to reach that conclusion.
Any practical experience with this would be appreciated.
I haven't faced this exact situation, but I have occasionally been asked about the authority of state peace officers on federal property. I don't have a good handle on it except to say jurisdiction can be exclusive fed or concurrent state and fed. In the case of parks and military installations, it seems to be a site-specific question.
I am in a unique position to attempt to answer this: I used to be a detective for the University of Arlington (UTA) Police department, am a current member of TDCAA, and am currently a contract security guard for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)..
I recently resigned from UTA to accept the position with DHS. As part of our training (albeit very limited in this area) we briefly discussed the different types of federal property/ownership as it related to federal/state jurisdiction. There are basically three types of federal property: (1) exclusive, e.g., military bases, in which the federal government retains all authority; (2) concurrent, in which both federal police and state police can exercise police powers(?); and (3) proprietary, which is basically property leased by the federal government from another entity. In the case of (3), we were told that state police retain primary authority with the federal police able to enforce only “certain federal laws and regulations.”
It would seem that a post office would fall under (2), i.e., property in which the public is not routinely excluded but is owned by the federal government, that is, not leased, but I realize that this does not answer your question. It was not made clear in my training [we were repeatedly told that such concerns were not our job, but rather the job of the Federal Protective Service (FPS), i.e, federal police] to determine whom has jurisdiction of any particular crime occurring on a concurrent property would fall, only that the jurisdiction would be determined pursuant to an agreement between local law enforcement and FPS.
Many moons ago when I worked in Abilene as an ALR attorney, we often had ALR hearings for persons arrested for DWI on the grounds of Dyess Air Force Base. Normally, they had been stopped by the MPs and then when indications were they were intoxicated, the MPs called in the Abilene PD which took over the investigation and made arrests. I had to have someone from the Air Force with lots of braid testify at the first hearing to establish that APD and the State of Texas had concurrent jurisidiction on the base for criminal purposes. If I remember correctly, when Bergstrom was still operating as an airbase, it was the same thing with Austin.
Shannon, call the Postal Inspector. He will have the answer. If you need a contact, call me, I have a longtime friend in Houston with their office there.
In my first JAG Assignment at Barksdale AFB, LA, I learned that the entire reservation of some thousands of acres was exclusive federal jurisdiction. Any civilians misbehaving on the base or the federal reservation received citations to appear before the federal magistrate in Shreveport. We were sworn in as temporary federal prosecutors and we prosecuted misdemeanor crimes in federal magistrate court for heinous things like violations of the migratory bird act!
Back in the late 50's and early 60's the DoD grew weary of accepting exclusive jurisdiction and as Janette noted, some military reservations such as Dyess AFB were given concurrent jurisdiction. Crimes committed on base by civilians were turned over to the local police or sheriff.
Some reservations are a mixture of federal and state jurisdiction. One of the housing areas at Sheppard AFB is under state jurisdiction. We had some interesting cases there involving the EURO/NATO student pilots, and a sad case where a young boy was found dead inside a dish washer inside a government house on base, but under the jurisdiction of the CDA's office.
I don't suppose I added much to what has already been said, but it was fun for a few minutes reaching back in the memory bank....
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