Special Police Officer and Suspect Shot in Brightwood around Midnight

via google maps

From MPD:

“Around midnight in the 1300 block of Fort Stevens Drive, NW, a Special Police Officer was approached by a subject with a gun. This subject shot at the Special Police Officer striking him. The Special Police Officer shot back at the subject striking him as well. Both of them were transported to local hospitals for treatment. The suspect is under arrest and will be charged with assault and firearms charges.”

18 Comment

  • HaileUnlikely

    Please forgive the dumb question, but what is a “Special Police Officer.”
    Also, holy f*, the guy just went up to the officer and freaking shot him? Wow.

    • I was wondering the same when I read this. I had seen their uniforms, which didn’t have any badges indicating a connection to MPD or federal law enforcement, and assumed they were just another private security/rent-a-cop company– albeit with a misleadingly official-sounding name. Maybe I was wrong?

    • Essentially, armed security. In DC it seems like they are often hired by the federal government to protect property. I don’t know if they have authority to make arrests.

      • “Special Police Officers” are armed security guards. They have to be licensed by DC to be SPOs in order to open carry weapons. So it’s essentially a way of saying they’re authorized to carry and use their weapons in the District, which otherwise has tight restrictions on carrying guns.

    • I _think_ “special police officer” can encompass anything from maybe even a security guard (?) to Federal Protective Services officers.

    • I’m thinking that there’s something more to this story. It could have been someone on a undercover detail and they don’t want to blow their cover. My guess is that this is drug related – the special officer was posing as a buyer or seller, the assailant intended to steal the product and/or money. So the officer could have been on an MPD task force, DEA, FBI, or even the armed force of the Justice Dept.

    • The 100% correct answer is that Special Police Officers (SPO’s) are contracted police officers who are licensed to be police officers within the District and are licensed by MPD. They are assigned jurisdiction, just like any officer. They are vetted by MPD and are subject to background checks.

      Security companies, such as Allied Barton, are hired on by companies/govt agencies to perform security. The security workers are either Special Police Officers (SPO’s) or Security Officers (SO’s). SPO’s are police with arresting power and can be armed. SO’s are essentially security guards.

      Think of them as auxilary police, licensed by DC to perform policing powers, but are often assigned to a small jurisdiction.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Thank you for the detailed reply. The Washington Post is now reporting that this was an armed security guard at an apartment complex. This must be a new-ish development, as I lived right around the corner from here and walked this block multiple times every day for my first 10 years in DC and never saw any security (armed or otherwise) at any of the apartments in the area.

      • So basically police officers without all of the police benefits? (aka good old government contracting). That sounds swell…

      • Correct, with the further clarification that their “small jurisdiction” is just on private property, except in limited circumstances, such as if they are in pursuit of someone who has committed a felony.

  • “charged with assault and firearms charges”

    Seems kind of weak for shooting a “Special Police Officer”

  • Shouldn’t this be attempted murder?

  • HaileUnlikely

    Update: the Washington Post is reporting that he was an armed security guard at an apartment complex. Would still like to know more…

  • Basically special police officers are essentially armed security guards. Due to the districts onerous gun laws, armed security poses a problem. So armed security guards have to be “police officers” so as was mentioned above, the people who do this go through a background check and are granted police powers (including the authority to carry a gun) by MPD for where they work. So while this individual is not an employee of MPD (or any other law enforcement agency) they do have police powers when working, where they work. Another example would be the Washington Hospital Center police.

    hopefully this helps

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