BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore police department is re-evaluating a program that empowers certain security guards to act as police officers and make arrests.

The guards, known as “special police,” can detain suspects and make arrests on certain properties, but aren’t trained by city or state police.

A Baltimore police spokesman tells The Baltimore Sun that the department is re-evaluating whether to continue granting the guards special police licenses. The move comes as special police officers face lawsuits accusing them of overstepping their boundaries, and complaints from citizens who say they operate without oversight.

One lawsuit filed this summer accuses the officers of violating residents’ civil rights.

Special police officers work at designated locations, including shopping centers, apartment complexes, the District Court of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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