§ 131.6. Administration of police powers by wildlife conservation officers.
(1) Section 901(a)(17) of the act (relating to powers and duties of enforcement officers) authorizes wildlife conservation officers, when acting within the scope of their employment, to pursue, apprehend or arrest any individual suspected of violating any provision of 18 Pa.C.S. (relating to Crimes Code) or any other offense classified as a misdemeanor or felony and, in addition, to serve and execute warrants and subpoenas for these offenses.
(2) For the purposes of enforcement of the authority granted by section 901(a)(17) of the act, when acting within the scope of their employment means that period of time that a wildlife conservation officer is currently engaged in any activity the officer is employed to perform at the time and places the officer is authorized to perform the activity.
(b) Limitation. A wildlife conservation officer will arrest or take other appropriate enforcement action pursuant to the authority vested by section 901(a)(17) of the act only in one or more of the following circumstances:
(1) The offense occurs in the officers presence.
(2) The offense occurs on lands or waters owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the Commission.
(3) The offense arises out of Commission operations.
(4) Another law enforcement agency has reasonably requested the assistance.
The provisions of this § 131.6 amended under the Game and Wildlife Code, 34 Pa.C.S. § § 322 and 901(a)(17).
The provisions of this § 131.6 adopted May 3, 1991, effective July 1, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 2009; amended June 29, 2007, effective June 30, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 2947; amended May 27, 2016, effective May 28, 2016, 46 Pa.B. 2664. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (364464) and (379461).
Notes of Decisions
Scope of Employment
Game Commission officers were acting within the scope of their duty when they encountered the driver in a dump truck parked diagonally across a public highway and observed his colorable conduct, as they were en route on an official call at the time; furthermore, the officers were conscious of the limits of their authority and took care not to overstep those limits, where they did not arrest the driver, but merely detained him during an investigatory stop until the State Police arrived to administer sobriety testing and execute the resulting arrest. Commonwealth v. Schatzel, 724 A.2d 362 (Pa. Super. 1998), appeal denied 1999 Pa. LEXIS 2204 (Pa. July 26, 1999).
Where a wildlife conservation officer acting within the scope of his employment by driving to deposit a deer carcass to the game lands building encountered a vehicle ahead of him which had crossed the center line once by the time the officer reached the entrance to the game lands building, the officer did not possess sufficient information, while acting within the scope of his employment, to arrest the driver for driving under the influence, and the officers subsequent observations after following the vehicle past the game lands building were made after the officer ceased acting within the scope of his employment. Commonwealth v. Carlson, 705 A.2d 468 (Pa. Super. 1998).
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