Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 2. United States Park Police.


§ 5–201. United States watchmen to be known as United States Park Police; powers and duties.

The watchmen provided by the United States government for service in any of the public squares and reservations in the District of Columbia shall, after August 5, 1882, be known as the “United States Park Police.” They shall have and perform the same powers and duties as the Metropolitan Police of the District.


(Aug. 5, 1882, 22 Stat. 243, ch. 389, § 1; Dec. 5, 1919, 41 Stat. 364, ch. 1,§ 3.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-201.

1973 Ed., § 4-201.


§ 5–202. Organization.

The United States Park Police shall be under the exclusive charge and control of the Director of the National Park Service. It shall consist of an active officer of the United States Army, detailed by the Department of the Army, 1 lieutenant with grade corresponding to that of lieutenant (Metropolitan Police), 1 first sergeant, 5 sergeants with grade corresponding to that of sergeant (Metropolitan Police), and 54 privates, all of whom shall have served 3 years to be with grade corresponding to private, class 3 (Metropolitan Police); all of whom shall have served 1 year to be with grade corresponding to private, class 2 (Metropolitan Police) and such others as the Director of the National Park Service deems necessary and are appropriated for by Congress; and all of whom shall have served less than 1 year to be with grade corresponding to private, class 1 (Metropolitan Police).


(May 27, 1924, 43 Stat. 175, ch. 199, § 4; Feb. 26, 1925, 43 Stat. 983, ch. 339; July 3, 1926, 44 Stat. 834, ch. 760, § 1; June 10, 1933, Ex. Ord. No. 6166, § 2; Mar. 2, 1934, 48 Stat. 389, ch. 38, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-202.

1973 Ed., § 4-202.


§ 5–203. Equipment; extra compensation.

The members of the United States Park Police force shall be furnished with uniforms, means of transportation, and such other equipment as may be necessary for the proper performance of their duties, including badges, revolvers, and ammunition; the United States Army officer detailed as Superintendent of the United States Park Police, who shall use on official business motor transportation furnished and maintained by himself, shall receive an extra compensation of not to exceed $480 per annum. Members detailed to motorcycle service shall each receive an extra compensation of $120 per annum.


(May 27, 1924, 43 Stat. 175, ch. 199, § 6.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-203.

1973 Ed., § 4-204.

Editor's Notes

Appropriations for uniforms or allowances: Section 105 of Pub. L. 105-83, 111 Stat. 1561, provided that appropriations available to the Department of the Interior for salaries and expenses shall be available for uniforms or allowances therefor, as authorized by this section.


§ 5–204. Medical attendance.

The park watchmen on April 28, 1902, provided by law and those that may thereafter be provided for by law for service in any of the public squares and reservations in the District of Columbia, shall receive free medical attendance, the same as the Metropolitan Police of said District.


(Apr. 28, 1902, 32 Stat. 152, ch. 594.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-204.

1973 Ed., § 4-206.


§ 5–205. Special police.

The Director of the National Park Service, in his discretion, may appoint special policemen, without compensation, for duty in connection with the policing of the public parks and other reservations under his jurisdiction within the District of Columbia, such special policemen to have the same powers and perform the same duties as the United States Park Police and Metropolitan Police of said District of Columbia, and to be subject to such regulations as he may prescribe; provided, that the jurisdiction and police power of such special policemen shall be restricted to the public parks and other reservations under the control of the Director of the National Park Service.


(May 27, 1924, 43 Stat. 176, ch. 199, § 9; Feb. 26, 1925, 43 Stat. 983, ch. 339, § 1; June 10, 1933, Ex. Ord. No. 6166, § 2; Mar. 2, 1934, 48 Stat. 389, ch. 38, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-205.

1973 Ed., § 4-208.


§ 5–206. Arrests and execution of process on federal reservations in District.

On and within roads, parks, parkways, and other federal reservations in the environs of the District of Columbia, the several members of the United States Park Police force shall have the power and authority to make arrests without warrant for any felony or misdemeanor committed in the presence or view of such members in violation of any federal law or regulation issued pursuant to law, or for any felony that in fact has been or is being committed in violation of any such law or regulation where they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony, and shall have power to take any person arrested by them, without unnecessary delay, before the federal court having jurisdiction over the offense or before a United States Magistrate specifically designated to try and sentence persons charged with petty offenses as provided in the Act of October 9, 1940 (54 Stat. 1058), or before any other officer having authority to hold or commit for the offense. Such police officers shall also have power upon such roads and within such parks, parkways, and other reservations to execute any warrant or other process issued by a court or officer of competent jurisdiction for the enforcement of the provisions of any federal law or regulation issued pursuant to law; provided, that the power and authority herein granted shall not extend to military personnel for offenses committed on military reservations; provided further, that the power and authority herein granted shall not limit or restrict the investigative jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


(Mar. 17, 1948, 62 Stat. 81, ch. 136, § 1; Aug. 18, 1970, 84 Stat. 826, Pub. L. 91-383, § 4.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-206.

1973 Ed., § 4-209.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-208.

Cross References

Arrests, Dulles and National Airports, see §§ 9-704 and 9-808.

Arrests, warrantless, see § 23-581.

References in Text

The Act of October 17, 1968, Pub. L. 90-578, terminated the Office of United States Commissioner and established in place thereof the Office of United States Magistrate. The Act became operative in the District of Columbia on June 27, 1969, when 2 United States Magistrates assumed the office pursuant to appointment by order of the District Court, dated June 20, 1969.

The Act of October 9, 1940 (54 Stat. 1058), referred to near the end of the first sentence of this section, was repealed by the Act of June 25, 1948, 62 Stat. 868, ch. 645.


§ 5–207. Rules and regulations.

The Secretary of the Interior, with the approval or concurrence of the head of the agency having jurisdiction or control of any road, park, parkway, or other federal reservation, or his duly authorized representative, is hereby authorized to make all needful rules and regulations for the regulation of traffic, for the protection of persons, property, health, and morals, to prevent breaches of the peace, to suppress affrays and unlawful assemblies and to aid in the enforcement of any of the rules and regulations so promulgated. To any rule or regulation there may be attached a reasonable penalty for the violation thereof not exceeding, however, a fine of not more than $500, imprisonment for not exceeding 6 months, or both.


(Mar. 17, 1948, 62 Stat. 81, ch. 136, § 2.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-207.

1973 Ed., § 4-210.


§ 5–208. Environs of the District of Columbia defined.

For the purposes of §§ 5-206 to 5-208, the environs of the District of Columbia are hereby defined as embracing Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford Counties and the City of Alexandria in Virginia, and Prince George’s, Charles, Anne Arundel, and Montgomery Counties in Maryland.


(Mar. 17, 1948, 62 Stat. 81, ch. 136, § 3; Aug. 18, 1970, 84 Stat. 826, Pub. L. 91-383, § 4.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-208.

1973 Ed., § 4-211.