Georgia Code Title 17. Criminal Procedure § 17-4-20

(a) An arrest for a crime may be made by a law enforcement officer:

(1) Under a warrant;  or

(2) Without a warrant if:

(A) The offense is committed in such officer's presence or within such officer's immediate knowledge;

(B) The offender is endeavoring to escape;

(C) The officer has probable cause to believe that an act of family violence, as defined in Code Section 19-13-1 , has been committed;

(D) The officer has probable cause to believe that the offender has violated a criminal family violence order, as defined in Code Section 16-5-95 ;  provided, however, that such officer shall not have any prior or current familial relationship with the alleged victim or the offender;

(E) The officer has probable cause to believe that an offense involving physical abuse has been committed against a vulnerable adult, who shall be for the purposes of this subsection a person 18 years old or older who is unable to protect himself or herself from physical or mental abuse because of a physical or mental impairment;  or

(F) For other cause there is likely to be failure of justice for want of a judicial officer to issue a warrant.

(b) Sheriffs and peace officers who are appointed or employed in conformity with Chapter 8 of Title 35 may use deadly force to apprehend a suspected felon only when the officer reasonably believes that the suspect possesses a deadly weapon or any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury; when the officer reasonably believes that the suspect poses an immediate threat of physical violence to the officer or others; or when there is probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed so as to restrict such sheriffs or peace officers from the use of such reasonable nondeadly force as may be necessary to apprehend and arrest a suspected felon or misdemeanant.

(c) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed so as to restrict the use of deadly force by employees of state and county correctional institutions, jails, and other places of lawful confinement or by peace officers of any agency in the State of Georgia when reasonably necessary to prevent escapes or apprehend escapees from such institutions.

(d) No law enforcement agency of this state or of any political subdivision of this state shall adopt or promulgate any rule, regulation, or policy which prohibits a peace officer from using that degree of force to apprehend a suspected felon which is allowed by the statutory and case law of this state.

(e) Each peace officer shall be provided with a copy of this Code section. Training regarding elder abuse, abuse of vulnerable adults, and the requirements of this Code section should be offered as part of at least one in-service training program each year conducted by or on behalf of each law enforcement department and agency in this state.

(f) A nuclear power facility security officer, including a contract security officer, employed by a federally licensed nuclear power facility or licensee thereof for the purpose of securing that facility shall have the authority to:

(1) Threaten or use force against another in defense of a federally licensed nuclear power facility and the persons therein as provided for under Code Sections 16-3-21 and 16-3-23 ;

(2) Search any person on the premises of the nuclear power facility or the properties adjacent to the facility if the facility is under imminent threat or danger pursuant to a written agreement entered into with the local enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the facility for the purpose of determining if such person possesses unauthorized weapons, explosives, or other similarly prohibited material;  provided, however, that if such person objects to any search, he or she shall be detained as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection or shall be required to immediately vacate the premises.  Any person refusing to submit to a search and refusing to vacate the premises of a facility upon the request of a security officer as provided for in this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor;  and

(3) In accordance with a nuclear security plan approved by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission or other federal agency authorized to regulate nuclear facility security, detain any person located on the premises of a nuclear power facility or on the properties adjacent thereto if the facility is under imminent threat or danger pursuant to a written agreement entered into with the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the facility, where there is reasonable suspicion to believe that such person poses a threat to the security of the nuclear power facility, regardless of whether such prohibited act occurred in the officer's presence.  In the event of such detention, the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the facility shall be immediately contacted.  The detention shall not exceed the amount of time reasonably necessary to allow for law enforcement officers to arrive at the facility.


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