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§8-14-3. Powers, authority and duties of law-enforcement officials and policemen.

The chief and any member of the police force or department of a municipality and any municipal sergeant shall have all of the powers, authority, rights and privileges within the corporate limits of the municipality with regard to the arrest of persons, the collection of claims, and the execution and return of any search warrant, warrant of arrest or other process, which can legally be exercised or discharged by a deputy sheriff of a county. In order to arrest for the violation of municipal ordinances and as to all matters arising within the corporate limits and coming within the scope of his official duties, the powers of any chief, policeman or sergeant shall extend anywhere within the county or counties in which the municipality is located, and any such chief, policeman or sergeant shall have the same authority of pursuit and arrest beyond his normal jurisdiction as has a sheriff. For an offense committed in his presence, any such officer may arrest the offender without a warrant and take him before the mayor or police court or municipal court to be dealt with according to law. He and his sureties shall be liable to all the fines, penalties and forfeitures which a deputy sheriff is liable to, for any failure or dereliction in such office, to be recovered in the same manner and in the same courts in which such fines, penalties and forfeitures are recovered against a deputy sheriff. In addition to the mayor, or police court judge or municipal court judge, if any, of a city, the chief of police of any municipality and in the absence from the station house of the chief of police the captains of police and lieutenants of police shall each have authority to administer oaths to complainants and to issue arrest warrants thereon for all violations of the ordinances of such municipality.

It shall be the duty of the mayor and police officers of every municipality and any municipal sergeant to aid in the enforcement of the criminal laws of the state within the municipality, independently of any charter provision or any ordinance or lack of an ordinance with respect thereto, and to cause the arrest of or arrest any offender and take him before a magistrate to be dealt with according to the law. Failure on the part of any such official or officer to discharge any duty imposed by the provisions of this section shall be deemed official misconduct for which he may be removed from office. Any such official or officer shall have the same authority to execute a warrant issued by a magistrate, and the same authority to arrest without a warrant for offenses committed in his presence, as a deputy sheriff.

No officer or member of the police force or department of a municipality may aid or assist either party in any labor trouble or dispute between employer and employee. They shall in such cases see that the statutes and laws of this state and municipal ordinances are enforced in a legal way and manner. Nor shall he or she engage in off-duty police work for any party engaged in or involved in such labor dispute or trouble between employer and employee.

The chief of police shall be charged with the keeping and security of the jail and at any time that one or more prisoners are being held in the jail, he shall require that the jail be attended by a police officer or other responsible person.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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