Ask the Olmsted Sheriff – Why Can LEOs Park On Private Property?
You know how you're driving someplace. Let's say your heading to your mom's house. On the way to mom's, you're driving a little fast (excited for the brownies she's making) and then you see a police or sheriff cruiser parked in a business lot and you slow down.
You think, "WHEW! That was a close one!" and you start being super aware of your driving and that's that.
Or is it?
Not everyone stops thinking about that law enforcement interaction. One guy, in particular, called Rochester Today to talk to Keven Torgerson, the Sheriff of Olmsted County. He was upset about law enforcement parking on private property (specifically for catching speeders).
Some of the things he said...
"...kind of wondering, uh, when officers are sitting on private property. Why is that allowed? I have approached a couple of them who I know are trespassing on property and they just blow up. They go from zero to a hundred instantly..."
"Well, when I questioned him about it, he said he could do whatever the F he wants to do..."
"I don't want them on private property. They don't have the right to be on private property period. They don't, they don't have right to be on private property unless they get permission..."
To hear the conversation and the context, with the Sheriff's reply (especially about the alleged use of the F word by a deputy), click play. But hold on, it's a wild ride.
Do LEO's Need To Get Permission to Park On Private Property
Turns out, no...officers with the Sheriff's Department do not need to get permission to sit on private property to catch speeders, fill out paperwork, etc. If a business doesn't want them in their lot, they'll move, but permission is not needed first.
That's the Sheriff's Department, What About Rochester Police?
I checked with Amanda Grayson, Crime Prevention & Communications Coordinator for the Rochester Police Department, and it's the same for the police.
Officers are afforded the same access as the public when private property is open for public use. RPD often receives requests from citizens, particularly in neighborhoods, to use their property for speed enforcement. That said, RPD typically uses the public right away, rather than private property, for speed enforcement.
What do you think? Do you think the caller's point is valid, or do you think it's no big deal?
As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
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