Does the Capitol Police Have the Authority to Act As Police Officers ?
In Commonwealth v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, 502 Pa. 7, 463 A.2d 409 (1983) (Capitol Police), Capitol Police officers from Scranton sought Act 111 bargaining status. Section 2416 of the Administrative Code of 1929 (Administrative Code) gave the Capitol Police the authorization "to exercise the same powers as are now or may hereafter be exercised under authority of law or ordinance by the police of the cities of Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, municipalities in Dauphin County wherein State buildings are located and in municipalities wherein said colleges, universities and community colleges are located."
Reversing our decision that Capitol Police in Scranton had limited authority to act as police officers, the Supreme Court stated as follows:
In the event of need, the Capitol Police possess the ability, capacity and authority to interpose in any situation requiring police intervention.
Capitol Police are required "and their duty shall be" to enforce order on state property, to arrest persons in breach of the law, and "to carry the offender before the proper alderman, justice of the peace or magistrate and prefer charges against him under the laws of the Commonwealth." 71 P.S. 646.
The performance of these duties is statutorily mandated and is not merely incidental to the responsibilities of the Capitol Police. Cf. Venneri v. County of Allegheny, 12 Pa. Commw. 517, 316 A.2d 120 (1974). Capitol Police, 502 Pa. at 13-14, 463 A.2d at 412-413.
Allegheny County v. Hartshorn, 9 Pa. Commw. 132, 304 A.2d 716 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1973), affirmed, 460 Pa. 560, 333 A.2d 914 (1975) (detectives in Allegheny County were police officers for purposes of Act 111 because Section 1440 of the Second Class County Code, 16 P.S. 4440, stated that "detectives shall be general police officers");
Commonwealth v. Pennsylvania Labor Relatons Board, 125 Pa. Commw. 549, 558 A.2d 581 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1989) (Park Rangers) (park rangers were police officers for purposes of Act 111 because section 1906-A of the Administrative Code, 71 P.S. 510-6(7)(a)-(d), gave park rangers the authorization "to have all the powers and prerogatives conferred by law upon members of the police force of the cities of the first class");
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 13, AFL-CIO by Keller v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, 140 Pa. Commw. 352, 593 A.2d 4 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1991) (although Section 902 of the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa. C.S. 902, authorized Wildlife Conservation Officers (WCOs) to enforce all other laws of the Commonwealth as well as rules and regulations relating to game, parks and forestry, Section 304(b) specifically excluded WCOs from bargaining under Act 111).