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Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) Support

Civil Air Patrol (CAP) can assist Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), especially when an LEA is tasked with missions that are not truly enforcement (i.e. Search and Rescue). CAP Support to LEAs must conform to these legal considerations:

POSSE COMITATUS
  • CAP is prohibited from acting in a law enforcement capacity
RECONNAISSANCE
  • CAP can provide airborne reconnaissance; photos of a crime scene or help LEAs develop future plans
  • CAP personnel may make spot reports of suspicious activities to LEAs, but cannot direct LEA activities
SEARCHES
  • CAP can assist with searches for missing persons not believed to be in the custody of criminals
  • CAP cannot be involved in the search, seizure, detention, interrogation, or arrest of people or property
TRANSPORTATION
  • CAP may transport LEAs to attend planning meetings and to do aerial surveys in support of mission planning
  • CAP cannot transport prisoners or contraband, though there are some exceptions for contraband as long as the LEA maintains the chain of custody
  • CAP cannot transport LEAs in direct support of an ongoing operational mission
  • CAP cannot transport when hostilities are imminent