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Bill to give arresting powers to Homeland Security agents introduced

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

The Lemanu and Talauega Administration has submitted a bill to expand arresting powers to the Department of Homeland Security Agents, aside from the Police Officers.

This measure was introduced in the first reading in the Senate today.

The bill creates new provisions for the Department of Homeland Security Director to designate their employees as Homeland Security Police Officers exercising powers of arrest for violations discovered while investigating drugs and human trafficking offences.

American Samoa is increasingly facing problems involving the importation and sale of drugs and human trafficking offences that warrant the Department of Homeland Security's need to give similar arrest powers to police officers of the Department of Public Safety.

However, strictly limited to the scope of drug and human trafficking offences.

Also authorizing the Director of the Department of Homeland Security to designate its employees as homeland security police officers will enable the Department to maximize its resources and human capabilities in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies to more effectively combat the increase in crime in the Territory related to drugs and human trafficking.

Furthermore authorizing homeland security police officers who have completed a police officer training program as provided by local, state, federal or territory law and subject to the criminal procedures to warrants and arrests set out in current law.

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