According to Pennsylvania Statute Title 22, Section 501, Special Police are "authorized to arrest persons for the commission of any offense of cruelty to children or aged persons. The keepers of jails and other places of detention in any county of this Commonwealth shall receive all persons arrested by such policemen for purposes of detention until they are dealt with according to law."
NewsLanc questions that the residence provided for the president of a college which is a quarter of a mile from the campus lies within the jurisdiction of a force established "to arrest persons for the commission of any offense of cruelty to children or aged persons."
In addition, NewsLanc notes that Ron Harper, Jr., and Chris Hart Nibbrig were detained at the F & M campus's security office rather than taken to the Lancaster City jail.
It defies common sense and the apparent sense of the statute that private police for a school or home for the aged should be parallel police for areas not directly associated with their authorized responsibilities just because the non-profit corporation happens to own real estate in that part of town.
Reproduced below is the relevant statute.
Statute Title 22, Section 501
§ 501. Appointment by nonprofit corporations.
10 (a) Appointment authorized.--Any nonprofit corporation, as
11 defined in 15 Pa.C.S. Pt. II Subpt. C (relating to nonprofit
12 corporations) maintaining a cemetery or any buildings or grounds
13 open to the public, or organized for the prevention of cruelty
14 to children or aged persons, or one or more of such purposes,
15 may apply to the court of common pleas of the county of the
16 registered office of the corporation for the appointment of such
17 persons as the corporation may designate to act as policemen for
18 the corporation. The court, upon such application, may by order
1 appoint such persons, or as many of them as it may deem proper
2 and necessary, to be such policemen.
3 (b) Oath of office.--Every policeman so appointed shall,
4 before entering upon the duties of his office, take and
5 subscribe the oath required by the sixth article of the
6 Constitution of Pennsylvania. Such oath, together with the
7 decree and order of the court, shall be recorded by the recorder
8 of deeds of each county in which it is intended that such
9 policemen shall act.
10 (c) Powers.--Such policemen, so appointed, shall severally
11 possess and exercise all the powers of a police officer in this
12 Commonwealth, in and upon, and in the immediate and adjacent
13 vicinity of, the property of the corporation. Policemen so
14 appointed for a corporation organized for the prevention of
15 cruelty to children or aged persons, or one or more of such
16 purposes, shall severally possess and exercise all the powers of
17 a police officer in any county in which they may be directed by
18 the corporation to act, and are hereby authorized to arrest
19 persons for the commission of any offense of cruelty to children
20 or aged persons. The keepers of jails and other places of
21 detention in any county of this Commonwealth shall receive all
22 persons arrested by such policemen for purposes of detention
23 until they are dealt with according to law. Every policeman
24 appointed under this section, when on duty, shall wear a
25 metallic shield with the words "special officer" and the name of
26 the corporation for which appointed inscribed thereon.