People with badges are used to getting their way—even if the badge was issued by Blart Security. Teenagers aren't always crazy about people telling them what to do. So when the guy in the uniform heads your way, keep in mind a few tips to keep yourself out of trouble—without giving up your rights.


If a cop tells you to stop, you have to stop. Cops can ask your name, and hold you as long as they need to hold you to learn your name.

You don't have to tell a cop anything other than your name. When asked anything else, you have the right to remain silent.

If the cops ask to search your things, you can refuse. If they have good reason to be suspicious, the cops can hold you until they get a warrant to search your things. If a cop searches you without a warrant, make it clear you aren't agreeing.

Unless the cops arrest or detain you, you don't have to go anywhere with them. If they try to make you stay someplace, ask if you are being detained. If you are not being detained, you can leave.

TriMet cops are just like normal cops.

Property owners:

Property owners can tell you to leave their land and can use force against you if they feel threatened.

If you've broken the law, property owners can detain you until the cops arrive using "reasonable" force.

Park rangers:

Park rangers are not cops.

The first time you break a park rule, rangers can kick you out of the park. They can also tell you to stay out for 30 days.

If you are caught in the park while suspended, rangers can call the police and have you arrested for criminal trespassing. Otherwise, rangers can talk with you, but cannot force you to do anything.

Private security guards.

Mall cops, bouncers and private security guards are not cops. They cannot give you a citation or arrest you.

Private security guards can kick you off private property, and may be able to search your stuff if there is a posted building rule that says so.

If you do not want a private security guard to search your stuff, you can leave private property.

Security guards can hold you with a citizen's arrest for a "reasonable amount of time" until police arrive if you break the law, but not one of their building rules.

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