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NCJ Number: 118684 Find in a Library
Title: Municipal Liability Update
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:37  Issue:6  Dated:(June 1989)  Pages:33-35
Author(s): T Capron; T Aaron
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
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Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Police officers who act improperly while on duty may cause civil liability for a municipal government if the municipality did not properly train and supervise them.
Abstract: Imposing civil liability on municipalities for unconstitutional acts of police officers is one action the Federal Government can take, based on Section 1983 of the U.S. Code, to prevent municipal police officers from violating the constitutional rights of citizens. Fear of civil liability may deter unconstitutional conduct by police officers and require administrators to issue clear guidelines and provide adequate supervision and training for police officers. Better selection of police personnel can reduce the potential for a municipality being held civilly liable. Providing adequate police officer training is another way municipalities can limit their civil liability. Personnel supervision remains a difficult problem, particularly in small police departments, but supervision is essential in limiting municipalities' civil liability. The retention policy of police departments should be clearly delineated, and municipalities should investigate all complaints of police officer misconduct.
Main Term(s): Municipal police
Index Term(s): Civil liability; On-duty offenses; Police legal limitations; Professional misconduct
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