Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1958 NO. 148 >

A county has no authority to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest of a person against whom no criminal charge has been filed. It is against public policy for sheriffs, their deputies, or other peace officers to claim a reward offered by a county for apprehending persons wanted for, or charged with, a crime.

AGO 1956 NO. 235 >

Officers of the state patrol cannot lawfully claim a reward for apprehending wanted persons, since it is their duty, along with other peace officers, to apprehend them. A reward cannot be designated or required by an officer of the state patrol, to be paid or given as a contribution into the state patrol retirement fund for apprehending a wanted person for whose capture such a reward was offered.