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NCJ Number: 119592 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Managing the Risks and Controlling the Losses
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:56  Issue:9  Dated:(September 1989)  Pages:45-46,48
Author(s): J W Hopper; W C Summers
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 4
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: Local governments should understand how they can be held liable for the actions of law enforcement personnel and other employees and should take steps to manage risks and control losses based on this liability.
Abstract: Courts consider local policy to be both the written regulations and the formal or informal choices or decisions of local officials authorized to make and carry out local policy. Thus, an employee who is a policymaker for local government may expose the government to civil liability for the employee's acts and decisions. Liability can be imposed on the basis of deficient programs or employee training and supervision or on the basis of the irresponsible failure by local government policymakers to stop or correct a widespread pattern of unconstitutional conduct by its employees. To manage risks and control losses related to police officers, governments should determine the origins of lawsuits against governmental entities and should identify the high-risk activities most likely to result in personal injury even when performed carefully and fully within the officer's authority. These activities include the use of force, motor vehicle operations, emergency responses, custody issues, forcible entry into private premises, search and seizure, first aid, enforcement of drunk driving laws, and responses to domestic disputes. Administrators should also identify the severity of a potential loss. They should develop and carry out detailed policies to address these issues. Supervisors should assure compliance and take corrective action where necessary. Finally, agencies should have plans in force regarding how to react to an incident involving a high-risk activity.
Main Term(s): Legal liability
Index Term(s): Police responsibilities; Professional misconduct; Public agencies
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