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Question: If I See a policeman doing something illegal, can I arrest him?
Answer: "I can't imagine any time that someone would get out handcuffs and arrest an officer," says Sheriff's Deputy April Skalland.
"Maybe you see that on TV, but not in real life."
A Patch reader wondered not only about actions such as making an illegal turn or going through a stop sign, but what if a federal officer was enforcing federal marijuana laws in a place where the drug is legal.
Skalland didn't want to deal with the complexities of that issue. However, she did have advice for what to do if you see a cop do something that appears to be a violation of the same laws he or she enforces.
Report it to the department's Internal Affairs division, she says. And, possibly, report it to the officer's shift supervisor.
"A lot of times people see cops doing something and they don't know why. If they saw the facts A to Z, they would get it. Sometimes cops do the wrong thing and that's where internal affairs comes into play."
If you see a cop talking on a cell phone while driving, don't bother to report it. They are exempt under that law.
Next week: Why don't officers tell us how much a ticket will cost?