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Author Topic: Is it true that police can not serve in their home area.
skeptic
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I have heard a few claims that police officers will not be assigned to the area they live in or grew up in, in case it leads to a conflict of interest.
But is this a universal rule, and I imagine it would be difficult in places like rural USA where there might not be enough police or towns to go around.

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Nicki
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No, it's not a rule in the US. Not by far. As a matter of fact I know some places that it is just the opposite. You MUST live in that county to be a police officer there. (That is in a county in NY)

Here in PA I know that cops can live in the same town. I'm not too sure about other areas though.

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Enjal
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I can't speak to the part about serving where they've grown up but I know that my friend who is a cop has to live within a certain distance (can't remember if it was miles or minutes) of the police station. I believe this is in case he needs to be called in on an emergency. He's been working for the the same town for arond 8 years now. When he was first hired, he lived in the next town over and he now lives in the town he works for. Actually, to be accurate, right this minute he's in Africa on active duty but he'll be home soon.

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Signora Del Drago
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I don't know about every location, but where I live, law enforcement officers, both city and county, live in the city or county where they work. I'm not sure if they are required to, but I know they are allowed to work in their home area.

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Lainie
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There was an article in the Columbus Dispatch recently about Granville, a college town (Denison University) east of Columbus. Real estate prices there are very high. Apparently none of the teachers, cops, etc. live in the town -- they can't afford to.

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Mr. Furious
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quote:
Originally posted by skeptic:
I have heard a few claims that police officers will not be assigned to the area they live in or grew up in, in case it leads to a conflict of interest.

In Pennsylvania, my understanding is that a State Trooper's first assignment won't be near their home. After a certain amount of time, however, they can be transferred there.

I know for a fact that there aren't any such restrictions in Chapel Hill or Hillsborough, as I've asked.

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tweetilynn
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No cite, but a couple of State Troopers here locally in Virginia told me that State Police can not serve in their home area for ten years. They mentioned the conflict of interest.

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ComicBookGeek
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My fiance is a dispatcher and she used to live 45 minutes away. I have heard rumblings about some of the officers living as far away but I'll ask her when she gets home.

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by Nicki:
Here in PA I know that cops can live in the same town. I'm not too sure about other areas though.

Many cities have tried to impose regulations that require police officers and city employees to live in the municipality where they are employed. For various reasons, the regulations always fail.

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violetbon
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Those type of regulations can cause quite a logistical problem if both spouses work in different jobs requiring residency. My friend had to go through a bit of red tape to get a waiver because she works for a school system where the teachers are required to live in the city, and her husband works for the fire department in a suburb where they also are required to live in that suburb.
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Aud
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I don't know about always fail. In the City of St. Louis you have to live in the city to work for the city. When my husband applied for an job there the first thing they asked was if he was willing to move there. This goes for police as well as the maintance guy in city hall. It is highly controversial.
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Four Kitties
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Same thing in Boston: within city limits residency is required for cops, firefighters, and teachers. There were some wacky grandfathering clauses put in place when it was implemented, though. IIRC (and it's quite possible I don't), senior officers (police & fire) were not required to move to the city if they didn't live there already, and rank-and-file officers had a certain amount of time (two years?) to move within city limits. Or it may not have been by rank, but by seniority, or something like that. I can't remember what the rules were for teachers.

In my city, residents are given hiring preference over non-residents. Since there's a waiting list of about 100 for a force of 105 police officers, for instance, non-residents don't get hired.

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Zorro
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I *think*, in the town I grew up in (North Jersey), all the members of the police department lived in the town itself; as someone else said, they had to be x amount of miles/minutes away from the station in case of emergency. I'd have to check to be sure, though.

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tribrats
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We have a whopping 21 square mile town. We have between 8-12 officers on-staff at any time. Many live and/or grew up here but not all. We have a mixture of ones that live in town and ones that live out. We also have at least 1 State Trooper that lives in town and patrols here. Same with Deputy Sheriff's out of the County Jail.

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Unusual Elfin Lights
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The RCMP used to have a rule similar to the one from the State Police in the US. It was 10 years before you could be sent back to your home province. However, about 10 years ago they relaxed that rule for two reasons.

First, many of their recruits were from areas that they were short constables (namely British Columbia) and to send them away did nothing for their shortages there.

Second, many constables were joining with families, unlike in decades past. If the constable had a spouse or children in school, then attempts would be made to keep him/her near the family. This often meant posting them within their home province. Although this was rarely within their home town.

Many municipal police officers around here are from the town where they become the law.

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LittleDuck
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Our local police force is around 50 and I know around 15 or so (either me or my siblings went to school with most, my sister dated one). The ones I still know do live in town.

But, in looking up the info on the police website, I found out we have two canine patrol units. I never knew that.

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Jocko's Jolly
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Baltimore tried to have the rule about police and firefighters living within the city limits. It was grandfathered for excisting officers, but the state passed a law saying that no jurisdictions in the state could require residency, except for appointed officials (i.e., the police commissioner has to live within the city limits). And, of course, there are laws requiring residency for most elected representatives (i.e., mayor, city council, congressmen, etc.).

But AFAIK, there are no outright bans against police living in their areas. As a mattr of fact, it is often encouraged, as the officers will get familiar with their jurisdiction, know when something is out of place, be close to the neighbors so as to heasr about illegal happenings, etc.

In our area, at least, a LOT of apartment complexes even offer discounts for police (and sometimes firefighters as well), since it gives at least the illusion of increased safety for the residents. Before we were bought our house, DH had a 10% discount on his apartment because he was a police officer.

ETA: If I ever have the urge to post when I'm overtired again, I should reread this one -- Yikes! Sorry for the serious misspellings!!

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Doug4.7
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At least for our little town, I KNOW at least SOME of the police officers live in town (down the block from me, in fact). I know one county officer who lives in town (which is part of the county).

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jetstew
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Detroit has enforced the residency rule for FIrefighters and Police Officers for eons, only recently deciding to rescind it.

Many of them lived in other cities anyway, and used an address in the 313 to satisfy the requirement.

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gopher
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FOMF (Friend of my Father). He was a Police Sargeant over here and was putting in for to become a detective in the mid 80's. he was strongly advised to either move to a different area to serve or stop seeing his friends, in case he had to arrest them. Why this applied more to plain-clothes than uniformed I'm not sure. he
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quiltsbypam
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In Onondaga County, AFAIK, there is a residency requirement for county employess but police, among others, are exempt by the state. A cop certainly CAN live in the county, but many often choose not to, so they and their families don't run into people they've arrested. That can cause problems, I believe.

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