the Liability week 3 discussion 1
Conduct research on the impact police liability has on law enforcement policies
and procedures through the Internet and the Ashford Online Library. Then, based
upon the assigned readings and your own research, discuss the following:
- How are these types of policies and procedures, which
limit liability, developed within departments?
- Research and analyze two (2) statutes (state or
federal) addressing law enforcement liability and/or their ability to
conduct law enforcement activities.
- Assess two (2) available options for limiting the
department or agency’s liability.
- How would these options affect law enforcement
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How are these types of policies and procedures, which limit liability,
developed within departments?
Many policies and procedures are adopted as a result of case law, or state
laws that have been passed. Unfortunately many of these come about because
someone pushed the limits further than they should have. One thing I was taught
in the academy that has always stuck with me- “Don’t become case law.” It
generally is a bad thing to be specifically named in a new law that came out.
There have been many modifications to search and seizure procedures over the
past few years, all resulting from circuit or supreme court findings. Many of
these are because an officer attempted to stretch the existing limits of the
law, only to cause those limits to become more restrictive. Ideally, these
modifications to policy come as a result of risk management personell who
monitor trends and proactively modify policy while teaching officers of the
changes and reasons behind them.
Research and analyze two (2) statutes (state or federal) addressing law
enforcement liability and/or their ability to conduct law enforcement
Ticket Quota statute N.Y. Labor Law 215-a- “No employer or his duly
authorized agent shall transfer or in any other manner penalize an employee as
to his employment solely because such employee has failed to meet a quota,
established by his employer or his duly authorized agent, or tickets or
summonses issued within a specific period of time…….” (NY Labor Law, section
215-A 2011) In order to boost production with easily tracked numbers, it is
very easy for police managers to require a specific number of citations to
ensure maximization of work hours. The problem with this is issuing citations
is typically a very small part of the daily routine for an officer, and so in
order to maintain a status of good standing with his supervisors, he must write
tickets, after everything else is done, which pushes the envelope of justified
citations, and raises public outcry of corruption for money.
Another statutory modification as a result or risky police actions is by way
of police pursuits. Florida State Law dictates that operators of emergency
vehicles are not released from their duty to drive with due regard for the
safety of all persons, nor shall such provisions protect the driver from the
consequences of his or reckless disregard for the safety of others. (Cooley
2006). Police pursuits are dangerous, and policies are constantly being
modified to change our ability to continue or call them off. There is a
legitimate need to pursue offenders and arrest them, however if the risk to the
public is too great, the need to arrest the offender must be weighed to
determine the overall cost of the apprehension. These changes are the results
of lawsuits that have been filed across the country for accidents and deaths
resulting from these pursuits.
Assess two (2) available options for limiting the department or agency’s
With liability related to quotas, obviously stop pressuring officers to
write tickets, and find other means of evaluation. Community policing efforts
are proving more effective than writing tickets, but they mean that supervisors
need to leave their offices to check on the officers efforts.
Police pursuits- The Cooley cites that preparation before the pursuits
happen is the best defense. Acquire local statistics on the pursuits including
actual accidents directly caused by pursuits, as well as charges filed that can
provide insight to why the person chose to flee, as well as what previous
records the fleeing person possessed. Cooley states that being able to properly
prepare and inform local judges, juries, and other law enforcement about the
real purpose and root of these chases will make them more tolerable by the
public. Obviously it is still vitally important that officers use proper
judgement in making the determination to pursue an individual, and that their
own driving is beyond reproach. I this cannot be accomplished, then policy for
pursuits should reflect this.
How would these options affect law enforcement effectiveness?
A community policing effort focus, instead of citation and quota would help
gain favor in the public’s eyes, as well as improve their overall effectiveness
of their work.
Increased awareness of police chases, as well as improved training for
driving skills or decision making for calling off pursuits for officers will
hopefully minimize negative backlash for pursuits, and reduce accidents caused
by these pursuits.
New York Labor Law ( Sept 1, 2011) Discrimination Against Employees for
Failure to Meet Certain Ticket Quotas
Cooley, A (Oct. 2006) Police Pursuit and High-Speed Driving Lawsuits
The Police Chief