posse comitatus – a group of citizens summoned by a sheriff or other peace officer to assist him in maintaining order or making an arrest

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posse comitatus:
n. (16c)
[Latin “power of the county”]

1. A group of citizens who are called together to help the sheriff keep the peace or conduct rescue operations. — Often shortened to posse. [1] 

1. The body of men summoned by a sheriff or other peace officer to assist him in making an arrest.  Better known in modern usage as a posse. [2] 

1. Means “the power of the group.”  A body of individuals available to be assembled by a sheriff to assist him in maintaining order or making an arrest. [3]

posse:

1. A body of men, even a single man, summoned by a sheriff or other peace officer to assist him in making an arrest.  The power or force of the county.  Verb: [Latin] To be able; to be possible. [2]

 

Posse Comitatus Act:

1. An 1878 federal statute that, with a few exceptions, prohibits the Army or Air Force from directly participating in civilian law-enforcement operations, as by making arrests, conducting searches, or seizing evidence.  *  The Act does not usually apply to members of the Navy, the National Guard, or the Coast Guard. 18 USCA § 1385. Abbr. PCA. [11

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

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