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NCJ Number: 119588 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Avoiding Liability for Police Failure To Protect
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:56  Issue:9  Dated:(September 1989)  Pages:22-24
Author(s): F Carrington
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Police agencies can avoid liability for failure to protect or failure to prevent crime by becoming familiar with the law and conducting training programs to deal with future contingencies in this area.
Abstract: Courts have never supported claims of failure to protect just because a crime was committed and the victim was injured. Thus, law enforcement officers owe no duty to specific individuals injured by crime unless a special relationship has been created between the crime victim and the law enforcement authorities. Courts have found such special relationships to exist in cases of failure to respond to calls for assistance, failure to arrest or restrain persons who are committing or are about to commit violent crimes, and cases where a duty to protect has been or appears to have been assumed and has been relied upon by the victim. Other situations include the failure to protect persons whom the authorities have brought into contact with the assailants or those who have helped law enforcement officers. The judicial decisions on the subject show that law enforcement agencies should recognize that a duty to protect has been established when officers have reason to know that specific individuals are in a position of foreseeable danger, when implying a promise of protection through the publication of emergency numbers, when specific promises of protection are made, and when the police put individuals in a position of danger. 15 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Complaints against police
Index Term(s): Lawsuits; Legal liability; Police education; Police responsibilities
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