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Thread: Can Cops sit at a church?

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    I know this is not related to open carrying but you guys seem to be up on the laws. This is in VA. Basically it's a Church so not sure how private it is but still not like it's a public street or anything. Here's the deal my mother and several other good family friends are very active in this church. It's a small town church with not a ton of people but enough. Anyway there has been a police officer that has been sitting in the parking lot running radar trying to catch speeders. Not while church is going on but it's been fairly often and is upsetting the people of the church as they say it looks bad which I tend to agree. One of them already said they talked to the Sheriffs department and they said they would take care of it. However, he was sitting back there tonight. Are there any laws saying a police officer can't run radar or private property? Would this fall under that or since it's open to the public on certain days would it no longer be private? Anything the church can do about this guy? If there is a law against this any idea what code it is? Thanks.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    hometheaterman wrote:
    Anything the church can do about this guy?
    The church can send a letter to the department and ask them not to run radar from their property anymore. I bet that would solve it right away.
    Carry On.

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    Correct!! This is not OC related and should not be here.

    PM Sent to answer this

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    Church has had people talk to the Sheriff but not send a letter. I will suggest that to them. I know this isn't OC related but I know you guys really seem to know the laws so I figured maybe you guys could help.

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    When he is out there just tell him to please leave and if he doesn't tell him he is trespassing now and you will contact other authorities to have him removed from the premises:P

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    The church is still private property. Ask him if he has any reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed on the property while he is running his radar. Then politely ask him to leave. If he does not then back away and call the state police and tell them you are having a problem with a local police officer. Tell them you have asked him to leavethe property and he continues to stay there illegally and need their assistance in removing him form the private property since he is armed. If you call the state police they have to send someone.

    Make sure you use a digital voice recorder to record the incident. That way you will have it available for use in court if you get a ticket you don't deservea few minutes later down the road.
    Revelation 1911 - And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

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    CRF250rider1000 wrote:
    When he is out there just tell him to please leave and if he doesn't tell him he is trespassing now and you will contact other authorities to have him removed from the premises:P
    In most jurisdiction officers can't be trespassed whle on duty. However, you can contact his bosses if he does not leave when asked by church personnel.

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    Someone in authority (preacher, deacon, board member, etc) who has constructive control of the premises shouldtell him (nicely) that he must leave. Do not ask, but nicely tell him to leave your private property.If he refuses, do not argue. Call dispatch and ask for a Lt or higherimmediately. If that doesn't work, call the state police. Audio record everything.

    It is difficult to imagine a Chief who would want to (lose) this fight .... especially ifthe issuegoes public, and especially with all the angles involved (private property, church-state issues, is your church a polling place as well?, etc)

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    SicSemperTyrannis wrote:
    Someone in authority (preacher, deacon, board member, etc) who has constructive control of the premises shouldtell him (nicely) that he must leave. Do not ask, but nicely tell him to leave your private property.If he refuses, do not argue. Call dispatch and ask for a Lt or higherimmediately. If that doesn't work, call the state police. Audio record everything.

    It is difficult to imagine a Chief who would want to (lose) this fight .... especially ifthe issuegoes public, and especially with all the angles involved (private property, church-state issues, is your church a polling place as well?, etc)
    They used to sit in churches on Courthouse Rd all the time. I wonder if a speeding ticket would be valid if the cop was sitting in the church parking lot without the consent of the church.

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    richarcm wrote:
    SicSemperTyrannis wrote:
    Someone in authority (preacher, deacon, board member, etc) who has constructive control of the premises shouldtell him (nicely) that he must leave. Do not ask, but nicely tell him to leave your private property.If he refuses, do not argue. Call dispatch and ask for a Lt or higherimmediately. If that doesn't work, call the state police. Audio record everything.

    It is difficult to imagine a Chief who would want to (lose) this fight .... especially ifthe issuegoes public, and especially with all the angles involved (private property, church-state issues, is your church a polling place as well?, etc)
    They used to sit in churches on Courthouse Rd all the time. I wonder if a speeding ticket would be valid if the cop was sitting in the church parking lot without the consent of the church.
    They still do occasionally. I think I know the exact one you're referring to. Lately tho, they tend to sit in the wide median facing south to catch all us headed north towards 60.

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    sitedzn wrote:
    richarcm wrote:
    SicSemperTyrannis wrote:
    Someone in authority (preacher, deacon, board member, etc) who has constructive control of the premises shouldtell him (nicely) that he must leave. Do not ask, but nicely tell him to leave your private property.If he refuses, do not argue. Call dispatch and ask for a Lt or higherimmediately. If that doesn't work, call the state police. Audio record everything.

    It is difficult to imagine a Chief who would want to (lose) this fight .... especially ifthe issuegoes public, and especially with all the angles involved (private property, church-state issues, is your church a polling place as well?, etc)
    They used to sit in churches on Courthouse Rd all the time. I wonder if a speeding ticket would be valid if the cop was sitting in the church parking lot without the consent of the church.
    They still do occasionally. I think I know the exact one you're referring to. Lately tho, they tend to sit in the wide median facing south to catch all us headed north towards 60.
    The church by Stonehenge.....I'm not in Chesterfield much anymore but when I am I don't see as many as I used to maybe 10 years ago. I guess the area has grown too much so they have to spread out their resources more.

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    Yep, that's the one. FYI, no one there this morning.:celebrate

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Correct!! This is not OC related and should not be here.

    PM Sent to answer this
    well technically the officerwould beOC'ing so it is OC related.

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    67GT390FB wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    Correct!! This is not OC related and should not be here.

    PM Sent to answer this
    well technically the officerwould beOC'ing so it is OC related.
    Each state (Virginia) should have an 'Anything Goes' type forum just like the main page. Issues like these, although not technically OC related, do question Constitutionality and more specifically private property rights and the limits of power of local law enforcement.

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    nitrovic wrote:
    In most jurisdiction officers can't be trespassed while on duty.
    Snip
    Cite please.
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    richarcm wrote:
    SicSemperTyrannis wrote:
    Someone in authority (preacher, deacon, board member, etc) who has constructive control of the premises should┬*tell him (nicely) that he must leave. Do not ask, but nicely tell him to leave your private property.┬*If he refuses, do not argue. Call dispatch and ask for a Lt or higher┬*immediately. If that doesn't work, call the state police. Audio record everything.

    It is difficult to imagine a Chief who would want to (lose) this fight┬* .... especially if┬*the issue┬*goes public, and especially with all the angles involved (private property, church-state issues, is your church a polling place as well?, etc)
    They used to sit in churches on Courthouse Rd all the time.┬* I wonder if a speeding ticket would be valid if the cop was sitting in the church parking lot without the consent of the church.┬*
    It would.

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    there's a church down the street from my house where they used to radar from their driveway entrance. I haven't seen them there for at least a year now, though they have moved to different spots a mile or two down the road...

    Never really cared, never got a speeding ticket in the years that I've had my DL. I'm just that good at spoting radar locations and unmarked crown vics I guess

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    nitrovic wrote:
    CRF250rider1000 wrote:
    When he is out there just tell him to please leave and if he doesn't tell him he is trespassing now and you will contact other authorities to have him removed from the premises:P
    In most jurisdiction officers can't be trespassed whle on duty. However, you can contact his bosses if he does not leave when asked by church personnel.
    Assuming you do cite this...I'd still disagree on principal. If someone is in my backyard without a reason and without my consent, they're trespassing. Maybe you mean if they're on duty AND investigating a crime or something...I don't care if the President wants to see my backyard because he's bored, I'd hope he'd ask first, same goes for LEO.

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    SaltH2OHokie wrote:
    nitrovic wrote:
    CRF250rider1000 wrote:
    When he is out there just tell him to please leave and if he doesn't tell him he is trespassing now and you will contact other authorities to have him removed from the premises:P
    In most jurisdiction officers can't be trespassed whle on duty. However, you can contact his bosses if he does not leave when asked by church personnel.
    Assuming you do cite this...I'd still disagree on principal. If someone is in my backyard without a reason and without my consent, they're trespassing. Maybe you mean if they're on duty AND investigating a crime or something...I don't care if the President wants to see my backyard because he's bored, I'd hope he'd ask first, same goes for LEO.
    If thay are investigating a crime they probably aren't going to ask if they can see your backyard since you may be a suspect and done't want to tip you off. :? If they want to see your backyard because they are bored then they aren't on duty but taking a break. You siad without a reason and if they don't have a legitimate reason then they aren't really on duty.

    I tried this defense once about running radar while on private property and it didn't work. Nothing that says they can't be on private property.

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    PT111 wrote:
    SaltH2OHokie wrote:
    nitrovic wrote:
    CRF250rider1000 wrote:
    When he is out there just tell him to please leave and if he doesn't tell him he is trespassing now and you will contact other authorities to have him removed from the premises:P
    In most jurisdiction officers can't be trespassed whle on duty. However, you can contact his bosses if he does not leave when asked by church personnel.
    Assuming you do cite this...I'd still disagree on principal. If someone is in my backyard without a reason and without my consent, they're trespassing. Maybe you mean if they're on duty AND investigating a crime or something...I don't care if the President wants to see my backyard because he's bored, I'd hope he'd ask first, same goes for LEO.
    If thay are investigating a crime they probably aren't going to ask if they can see your backyard since you may be a suspect and done't want to tip you off. :? If they want to see your backyard because they are bored then they aren't on duty but taking a break. You siad without a reason and if they don't have a legitimate reason then they aren't really on duty.

    I tried this defense once about running radar while on private property and it didn't work. Nothing that says they can't be on private property.
    That's my point...you can trespass on duty by being "on duty" and not having a legitimate reason for being somewhere.

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    richarcm wrote:
    67GT390FB wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    Correct!! This is not OC related and should not be here.

    PM Sent to answer this
    well technically the officerwould beOC'ing so it is OC related.
    Each state (Virginia) should have an 'Anything Goes' type forum just like the main page. Issues like these, although not technically OC related, do question Constitutionality and more specifically private property rights and the limits of power of local law enforcement.
    That's what I like about Glock Talk there are tons of different discussions. As for the topic at hand I would.
    Send a letter on church letter head asking them not to violate your property rights
    If they don't stop take a picture evertime they park there and after a week or so send the pictures along with a copy of the letter you sent to every media outlet there is, local and national.
    Or every time he's there call in a man with a gun to the police.

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    GLENGLOCKER wrote:
    That's what I like about Glock Talk there are tons of different discussions. As for the topic at hand I would.
    We have a "whatever" forum/message boardon our company website that hardly sees any traffic.......ya can't win I tell ya!
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    I would venture to say the courts would view a parking lot as private/public as well. In general, anyone is considered able to use a parking lot unless otherwise notified. The same would apply to a police officer. Of course, once proper notification is done to the police station and/or the parking lot is marked as off-limits to anyone except church personnel/parishioners, then you'd have an argument.

    As noted though, most churches and businesses don't like to schoo away the police.

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    Just put one of those signs with moveable lettering at each end of the parking lot:

    RADAR COP

    NOT

    COLLECTING FOR CHURCH

    That should solve several problems at once.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Sheriff wrote:
    hometheaterman wrote:
    Are there any laws saying a police officer can't run radar on private property? Anything the church can do about this guy?
    No, no such law. I have sat on church property working radar in the past many times at a trouble spot. It was either this or sit on somebody's front lawn. You need to understand that the church itself doesn't want people running 50 mph or 60 mph in a 35 mph zone back and forth in front of their church.

    Furthermore, I doubt any church would ask any police officer to not come onto their property. Especially with so many churches nationwide being vandalized and burned down.


    But Sheriff - thistopic wasstarted by a member giving a specific example of his mothers church in Virginia that had already spoken to the local Sheriff asking that police not run radar on church property, and the Sheriff agreed.

    I already understood that there is no rule forbidding police fromrunning radaron churchproperty. And I agree that many (most?) churches wouldwelcome yourpresenceat certain times, for the reasons you outlined (although perhaps not during services). But are you saying that if an individual with constructive control of achurch asked an officer not investigating a specific crime to leave, hissuperiors would back him up if he had the audacity to refuse?

    *** - I am a life-long Quaker andmy experience suggeststhatmost Quaker meeting houses - as a matter of principle - will not allow you to run radar fromtheir property. You would possibly be nicely asked to leave - and if you refused, youmight start a battle you would quickly lose****

    *** What provokes an emotional response in me is your assertion that we "need to understand" that "the church itself doesn't want people ... (speeding)". No one - and especially not a law enforcement officer as anagent of the state - should presume to tell anyone what "the church itself... want(s)". The factthat you assert that what "the church" wants is conveniently exactly what you want is suspect.

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