American railroad police company

The Amtrak Police Division (APD) is a railroad police company and safety group that acts because the legislation enforcement arm of Amtrak (the Nationwide Railroad Passenger Company), the government-owned passenger prepare system in the USA.[1] It’s headquartered at Union Station in Washington, D.C., and as of 2019 has a pressure of 452 sworn law enforcement officials,[2] most of whom are stationed throughout the Northeast Hall, Amtrak’s busiest route.[3]

This quasi-federal company has major jurisdiction on Amtrak stations nationwide, trains, rights-of-way, upkeep services, and crimes dedicated towards Amtrak, its staff, or its passengers.

Since 1979, most Amtrak law enforcement officials are skilled on the Federal Regulation Enforcement Coaching Facilities (FLETC)[4][5] though some recruits could also be licensed by way of an area police academy.


Created by Congress, Amtrak’s enabling laws beneath the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, now codified beginning at 49 U.S.C. 24101, established the authority for Amtrak to have its personal police pressure. The statutory authority was distinctive on the time and included interstate police powers. The Amtrak rail police legislation, now discovered at 49 U.S.C. 24305 (e), states as follows:

(e) Rail Police. —Amtrak could make use of rail police to offer safety for rail passengers and property of Amtrak. Rail police employed by Amtrak who’ve complied with a state legislation establishing necessities relevant to rail police or people employed in an analogous place could also be employed with out regard to the legislation of one other state containing these necessities.

In sum, Amtrak law enforcement officials have the identical police authority as an area or state legislation enforcement officer inside their jurisdiction. They examine numerous kinds of crime that happen inside and round stations, trains and/or proper of how. Because the September 11, 2001 assaults, APD has grow to be extra terrorism-focused. Such mission shift grew to become much more prevalent after the Madrid prepare bombings in 2004. It maintains a strong Okay-9 division composed of patrol and bomb canine. APD officers continually work in partnership with federal, state and native legislation enforcement to carry out their duties in accordance with the company’s mission to guard America’s railroads. In principle, officers have jurisdiction in all of the 46 states the place Amtrak operates, however are stationed extra in busier places in apply.

Operational Divisions[edit]

Every of the Divisional Instructions present totally different police providers for the geographical space they cowl. The totally different Divisions throughout the Division might be categorized as the next:

  • Patrol Division – Patrol Officers fulfill conventional policing capabilities. They act as a deterrent to crime within the stations, on trains, in and round Amtrak services, and out on the rights-of-way by imposing legal guidelines, offering assist at stations, and boarding trains.[6]
  • Prison Investigations Division – The Prison Investigations Unit is accountable for most follow-up investigations and the coordination of any felony investigative efforts.[6] This Division consists of each investigators and detectives.
  • Particular Operations Unit – The Particular Operations Unit (SOU) assist Patrol operations by offering speedy response and enhanced capabilities to help in preserving Amtrak passengers and staff protected. The SOU additionally conduct coaching on railroad-specific tactical response and procedures for fellow Amtrak Police Division members and exterior legislation enforcement associate companies.[7]
  • Workplace of Intelligence and Evaluation – The Workplace of Intelligence and Evaluation serves as a assist ingredient for the totally different patrol divisions and seeks to extend the protection and safety of the passengers and personnel by growing the division’s perception into ongoing threats and potential terrorist acts by the evaluation and dissemination of intelligence data.[8]
  • Administration – The upper-ranking officers who’re accountable for reporting the every day operations to the Amtrak Company itself, in addition to the duty for overseeing the day-to-day capabilities of the division.
  • Help Operations Divisions– Contains the Coaching Unit, Quartermaster Unit, a Police Know-how Unit, and a Police Report Requests Unit.
  • K9 Unit – The Amtrak Police Division Okay-9 groups present a deterrent to potential threats from explosives.[9] K9 groups are deployed at stations all through the system in addition to conduct prepare rides and right-of-way patrols.
  • Nationwide Communications Middle – Amtrak’s Nationwide Communications Middle (NCC) is the coordination heart for the Amtrak Police Division. NCC Communications Officers reply calls and reply to textual content messages from the APD11 “txt-a-tip” system. The NCC additionally dispatches officers as wanted to answer incidents and occasions all through the nation.[10]

Rank construction and insignia[edit]


In 2016, the Amtrak Workplace of Inspector Normal launched an investigation into the then-Amtrak Police Chief Polly Hansen, concerning battle of curiosity involving her boyfriend who was awarded a counterterrorism contract she helped oversee, and in whose award Hansen reportedly had affect. In statements, Hansen claimed no data of the boyfriend, however the investigation revealed that that they had been cohabiting in a condominium that they collectively owned. In September 2016, after the presidency of Amtrak had handed from Joseph Boardman (who had appointed Hansen in 2012) to Wick Moorman, Chief Hansen resigned.

On February 8, 2017, Amtrak Police Officer LaRoyce Tankson shot and killed an unarmed man, Chad Robertson, who had been noticed smoking marijuana exterior Chicago Union Station and was working from police.[11] The bullet was fired from a distance between 75 and 100 yards and struck Robertson within the shoulder from behind.[12] Tankson’s legal professional, Will Fahy, claimed Tankson noticed Robertson flip and attain for what Tankson thought was a firearm and thus believed he was about to be shot.[12] Nevertheless, 4 eyewitnesses acknowledged they didn’t see Robertson gesture having a gun.[12] Tankson was charged with first diploma homicide and launched from custody after posting ten % of the bail which was set to $250,000.[12] On March 8, 2017, the Amtrak Police Fraternal Order of Police claimed having collected greater than $4,000 to assist Tankson and contended he fired in self-defense.[13] On February 28, 2020 Officer Tankson was acquitted.

See additionally[edit]


  1. ^ “Amtrak Police Division”. Amtrak Police Division. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  2. ^ “Amtrak Threatens Police Division Cuts”. Could 3, 2019. Retrieved Could 4, 2019.
  3. ^ Brian A. Reaves (July 2006). “Federal Regulation Enforcement Officers, 2004” (PDF). Bureau of Justice Statistics. Archived (PDF) from the unique on August 26, 2020.
  4. ^ “A Temporary Historical past of the Amtrak Police Division”. Amtrak Police Division. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  5. ^ “Present Companions”. Federal Regulation Enforcement Coaching Facilities. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  6. ^ a b “Amtrak Police Patrol”. Retrieved Could 4, 2019.
  7. ^ “Amtrak Police SOU”. Retrieved Could 4, 2019.
  8. ^ “Amtrak Police Intelligence Unit”. Retrieved Could 4, 2019.
  9. ^ “Amtrak Police K9 Unit”. Retrieved Could 4, 2019.
  10. ^ “Amtrak Police NCC”. Retrieved Could 4, 2019.
  11. ^ Amtrak police officer charged with homicide in Chicago taking pictures, Reuters, February 18, 2017, retrieved on: January 24, 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d Amtrak cop charged with homicide bonds out of jail, Chicago Solar, February 18, 2017, retrieved on: January 24, 2018.
  13. ^ Union raises $4,000 for Amtrak officer charged with homicide, The Washington Occasions, March 8, 2017, retrieved on: February 20, 2018.

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