Largo Renews Criminal Pursuit Agreement With Pinellas Cities
by Bill Lopez
LARGO- In Tuesday's commission meeting, Largo commissioners approved renewal of the Pinellas County Mutual Aid Agreement (CMAA) that grants law enforcement authority to other law enforcement agencies in Pinellas County.
It is illegal for a municipal law enforcement officer to chase down a criminal in another jurisdiction unless specific legal agreements make it lawful.
To insure that local police have the authority they need to pursue and apprehend outside city or town limits when serious criminal activity is suspected, cities and towns contract with one another to permit such pursuits and arrests.
In 2005, a CMA agreement was approved by participating cities including Largo. The agreement incorporated language of previous agreements and superseded agreements in place between individual cities.
Since the 2005 agreement expired on January 5, 2009, cities and towns needed to renew it. The Pinellas County CMAA was entered into by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the Towns of Belleair, Indian Shores, and Kenneth City, the Cities of Belleair Beach, Clearwater, Gulfport, Largo, Pinellas Park, St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, and Treasure Island, the University of South Florida/St. Petersburg, and the School Board of Pinellas County.
The CMAA includes a provision that any party to the agreement may withdraw from the agreement with a ten day written notice to all parties.
Since some of the Clearwater Area communities contract with the Pinellas County Sherriff Department for police services, they don't require separate agreements since the country already has the authority to pursue and apprehend anywhere in the county.
Contact Bill Lopez at email@example.com
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