Thursday, May 1, 2014
Union Pacific Police Department
The Union Pacific Police Department is the law enforcement agency of the Union Pacific Railroad.
Union Pacific maintains a functioning police department staffed with officers given the title of Special Agent with jurisdiction over crimes against the railroad. Like most railroad police, its primary jurisdiction is unconventional, consisting of 54,116 miles (87,091 kilometers) of track in 23 western U.S. states. Railroad police are certified state law enforcement officers with investigative and arresting powers both on and off railroad property if authorized by the state they are operating within. They also have interstate authority pursuant to federal law (Title 49, United States Code, Section 28101. Under Public Law 110-53 SEC. 1526. (RAILROAD SECURITY ENHANCEMENTS)), Railroad police powers have been expanded to include railroads other than the officer's employing agency. All of the states in Union Pacific's 23 state system authorize full police authority, except for Minnesota and Wyoming, which do not grant authority to railroad police at all.
Special Agents typically investigate major incidents such as derailments, sabotage, grade crossing accidents and hazardous material accidents and minor issues such as trespassing on the railroad right of way, vandalism/graffiti, and theft of company property or customer product. In accordance with their duties, Special Agents have the ability to access the FBI's NCIC database to run suspects and vehicles for wants and warrants, as well as criminal history checks.
Special Agents often coordinate and liaise with local, state, and federal law enforcement on issues concerning the railroad and are dispatched nationally through the Response Management Communications Center (RMCC) in Omaha, Nebraska. The Union Pacific Police Department and the title "Special Agent" were models for the FBI when it was created in 1907.