Senate panel gives inspector general agents police powers

A bipartisan bill to give police privileges to certain inspector general agents in federal agencies won quick approval from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Wednesday.

The legislation (S. 2530), which the panel approved by voice vote with no amendments, would amend the Inspector General Act of 1978 to allow certain inspectors general and assistant inspectors general to carry firearms while engaged in official duties. Those officials also would be authorized to seek and execute warrants for arrest, search a premises or seize evidence.

The bill also would authorize the inspectors general to make arrests without a warrant when they have reasonable grounds to believe a felony is being committed.

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