SANTA ANA (CBS) — Hundreds of officers with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department who work as security at courthouses, county buildings and John Wayne Airport have lost their authority to make arrests.

KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports now union leaders are considering a potential lawsuit.

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens notified 200 of the department’s Sheriff Special Officers this week that they will no longer be able to make arrests, issue misdemeanor citations or carry their weapons while off duty.

The move comes after the state commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training informed Hutchens back in May that the training requirements for the officers fell short of state minimum standards.

Sheriff Special Officers receive four months of academy training, while county deputies are required to undergo six months.

Assistant Sheriff Tim Board said the changes will not affect officers’ pay or otherwise limit their ability to serve the public.

“At the airport, for example, they’ll still be able to do traffic enforcement, they’ll still be able to issue traffic citations or infractions, just not misdemeanor citations,” said Board.

Nick Berardino, head of the Orange County Employees Association, said the union is working to determine whether Hutchens can legally remove officers’ authority, according to the Orange County Register.


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