What Is the Jurisdictional Limits of a Texas City Police Officer ?
As a general matter, peace officers may exercise law enforcement powers only within their jurisdiction. Dominguez v. State, 924 S.W.2d 950, 953-54 (Tex. App.--El Paso 1996, no pet.); cf. TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 2.13 (Vernon Supp. 2000) ("It is the duty of every peace officer to preserve the peace within the officer's jurisdiction.").
In this opinion, we use the term "jurisdiction" to refer to the geographic scope of a peace officer's duties and powers. Angel v. State, 740 S.W.2d 727, 734 (Tex. Crim. App. 1987).
"Authority," on the other hand, refers to the duties and powers granted by the Code of Criminal Procedure, which an officer may or may not exercise outside of his jurisdiction depending on the terms of the statute granting the power or imposing the duty. Id. at 732.
The scope of an officer's jurisdiction must be found in a statute or be controlled by common law. Angel v. State, 740 S.W.2d 727, 732 (Tex. Crim. App. 1987); see also TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 1.27 (Vernon 1977).
There are no statutes specifically controlling the jurisdiction of a police officer of a Type "B" municipality such as the officers of Pantego Village. See TEX. LOC. GOV'T CODE ANN. Chapter 341 (Vernon 1999 & Supp. 2000); Reamey & Harkins, Warrantless Arrest Jurisdiction in Texas: An Analysis and a Proposal, 19 ST. MARY'S L.J. 857, 880 (1988).
Therefore, the jurisdiction of a Type "B" municipality police officer is controlled by common law. at common law, a city police officer's authority ends at the city limits. Landrum v. State, 751 S.W.2d 530, 531 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1988), pet. ref'd per curiam, 795 S.W.2d 205 (Tex. Crim. App. 1990); Love v. State, 687 S.W.2d 469, 471 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1985, pet. ref'd), overruled on other grounds, Angel v. State, 740 S.W.2d 727 (Tex. Crim. App. 1987).
Thus, the State has correctly conceded that Harris and Coduti were outside of their jurisdiction when they detained Yeager for questioning.
Because Harris and Coduti were outside of their jurisdiction, before we can sustain the legality of the detention and arrest we must find either:
(1) the legislature has extended these officers' geographic authority by statute or (2) a common-law basis for such an extension. See Angel, 740 S.W.2d at 732; Landrum, 751 S.W.2d at 531.
Some cases have analyzed actions by peace officers outside of their jurisdiction under article 14.01(a), which authorizes any person to arrest for any felony or breach of the peace which occurs within their presence or view, as if the officer were a private citizen. TEX. CODE. CRIM. PROC. ANN. art 14.01(a); Romo v. State, 577 S.W.2d 251, 253 (Tex. Crim. App. [Panel Op.] 1979); Garner v. State, 779 S.W.2d 498, 500-01 (Tex. App.--Fort Worth 1989), pet. ref'd per curiam, 785 S.W.2d 158 (Tex. Crim. App. 1990). Driving while intoxicated is a breach of the peace. Romo, 577 S.W.2d at 253; Trent v. State, 925 S.W.2d 130, 133 (Tex. App.--Waco 1996, no pet.).
However, an arrest by a private citizen must be based on probable cause. Trent, 925 S.W.2d at 133; McGuire v. State, 847 S.W.2d 684, 686 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1993, no pet.). Private citizens do not have the authority to make an investigative detention under article 14.01. Garner, 779 S.W.2d at 501.