BNSF Police Department

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The BNSF Police Department or Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Police Department is the law enforcement agency of the BNSF Railway. Its headquarters is situated in Fort Worth, Texas.

Jurisdiction[edit]

The current Chief of Police for BNSF is Greg Sandsness. BNSF maintains a functioning police department staffed with officers given the title of Special Agent with jurisdiction over crimes against the railroad. Like most railroad police, its primary jurisdiction is unconventional, consisting of 34,000 miles of track in 25 western U.S. States. Railroad police are certified state law enforcement officers, authorized under federal law, to operate as such in any state that allows railroad police authority under state law.

BNSF Special Agents may have investigative and arrest powers both on and off railroad property if authorized by the state in which they are working. They carry interstate authority as provided by federal law (Title 49, USC, Section 28101.) This authority means that if railroad police are commissioned in one state, they can work in another, if that state has authorized railroad police, however to the limit allowed by the state they are in.

Special Agents typically investigate major incidents such as derailments, sabotage, grade crossing accidents and hazardous material accidents and minor issues such as trespassing on the railroad right of way, vandalism/graffiti, and theft of company property or customer product.

Special Agents often coordinate and liaise with local, state, and federal law enforcement on issues concerning the railroad and are dispatched nationally through BNSF Headquarters in Fort Worth, TX.

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the BNSF Railroad Police Department, 20 officers have died in the line of duty. The following list contains officers from departments that have since merged with the BNSF Police Department. Those departments are: Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Police Department,[1] Burlington Northern Railroad Police Department,[2] Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Police Department,[3] Fort Worth and Denver Railroad Police Department,[4] Northern Pacific Railroad Police Department,[5] and the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Police Department.[6][7]

References[edit]

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