Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 17. Police and Public Order
5/16/2021

§ 15.2-1704. Powers and duties of police force.

A. The police force of a locality is hereby invested with all the power and authority which formerly belonged to the office of constable at common law and is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of criminals, the safeguard of life and property, the preservation of peace and the enforcement of state and local laws, regulations, and ordinances.

B. A police officer has no authority in civil matters, except (i) to execute and serve temporary detention and emergency custody orders and any other powers granted to law-enforcement officers in § 16.1-340, 16.1-340.1, 37.2-808, or 37.2-809, (ii) to serve an order of protection pursuant to §§ 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, and 16.1-279.1, (iii) to execute all warrants or summons as may be placed in his hands by any magistrate serving the locality and to make due return thereof, and (iv) to deliver, serve, execute, and enforce orders of isolation and quarantine issued pursuant to §§ 32.1-48.09, 32.1-48.012, and 32.1-48.014 and to deliver, serve, execute, and enforce an emergency custody order issued pursuant to § 32.1-48.02. A town police officer, after receiving training under subdivision 8 of § 9.1-102, may, with the concurrence of the local sheriff, also serve civil papers, and make return thereof, only when the town is the plaintiff and the defendant can be found within the corporate limits of the town.

Code 1950, § 15-557; 1960, c. 167; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-138; 1982, c. 38; 1984, c. 661; 1992, cc. 729, 742; 1995, c. 844; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 425; 1999, c. 495; 2007, c. 724; 2008, cc. 551, 691; 2010, cc. 778, 825.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.