State Affairs and Government

Department of Attorney General

SECTION 42-9-8.1

§ 42-9-8.1. Office of investigation – Powers and duties of investigators.

(1) Establishment. There is hereby established within the department of attorney general an office of investigation.

(2) Scope and purpose. The scope and purpose of the office of investigation shall be:

(a) To assist special assistant and assistant attorneys general in carrying out investigations relating to grand jury investigations, pre-trial preparation and other litigation efforts;

(b) To coordinate their efforts in investigating criminal activity with existing federal, state and local law enforcement resources; and

(c) To initiate criminal investigations for violations of the law at the direction of the attorney general.

(3) Composition and powers. The office of investigation shall consist of a chief, field investigators, all of whom shall be designated by the attorney general, and support personnel. The chief and the field investigators shall have the following powers:

(a) The power to arrest independently or in conjunction with local, state or federal law enforcement agencies;

(b) The power to, with the written authorization by the attorney general or his or her designated deputy, apply for and execute search warrants; and

(c) The power to serve civil and criminal process.

(4) Qualifications. No person shall be appointed as chief of the office of investigation or as a field investigator in the office unless he or she has successfully completed the basic course of instruction for police officers at the Providence police training academy, the Rhode Island municipal police training academy, or the Rhode Island state police training academy, and has at least three (3) years of active law enforcement experience, or has served as a member of the United States Marshal's Service or as a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a criminal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Justice, the United States Department of State, the United States Department of the Treasury or the United States Postal Inspection Service and has at least three (3) years of active law enforcement experience, or has been certified as a police officer by the duly-constituted state commission on police officer standards and training of another state, and has at least three (3) years of active law enforcement experience.

(5) Appointment background check. The attorney general shall appoint the chief, field investigators, and the support personnel of the office of investigation. Prior to the appointment of any individuals, a background examination shall be conducted utilizing federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, bureau of criminal identification, national crime information center, and any and all relevant records existing within the federal and state court systems.

(6) Standards. The office shall adopt and implement such standards as may be applicable to its scope and purpose as promulgated by the commission for the accreditation of law enforcement agencies.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1987, ch. 600, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 286, § 5; P.L. 2007, ch. 340, § 11; P.L. 2012, ch. 402, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 419, § 1.)