Should Mayors Use Blue Auto Lights For Citizen’s Arrests?


Several mayors in cities near Memphis have blue lights on their city vehicles that they use to clear a path when they are responding to an emergency rather than for enforcement says the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Questions arose after reports that Millington, Tn., Mayor Terry Jones used his blue lights last month to pull over a man eventually charged with driving under the influence.

A check of Shelby County suburbs shows that most full-time mayors have blue lights. There doesn’t appear to be anything in the Millington charter or code of ordinance that specifically addresses whether the mayor can carry out law enforcement. The city charter says the “shall supervise all officers of the city and shall see that all laws and ordinances are enforced.” There is similar language in other cities. “It’s not like I’m abusing my power. I don’t know that I even have the power to stop anybody,” Millington mayor Jones said. “But like any other good citizen, who has the right in the same situation, (I) can make a citizen’s arrest.


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