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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157610 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Police Officer Safety and the Constitution
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:64  Issue:9  Dated:(September 1995)  Pages:27-32
Author(s): J C Hall
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article surveys court cases that deal with the safety concerns of police officers and discusses the degree to which the U.S. Constitution permits officers to protect themselves while performing their duties.
Abstract: The court cases reviewed pertain to actions that police officers may take to ensure their safety in the contexts of investigative detentions, "routine" vehicle stops, custodial arrests, and the execution of warrants. The author summarizes the key elements and decisions in court cases related to legally permissible police actions to ensure officer safety in various police encounters with citizens. The court cases affirm that the U.S. Constitution does not require police officers to assume greater risks than those inherent in the job. As the cases discussed illustrate, the U.S. Supreme Court has acknowledged those issues and has drawn rules to accommodate them. Given the U.S. Supreme Court's deference to the legitimate safety concerns of police officers and the clear interest of society in protecting those who are charged with enforcing society's laws, departmental policies that are more restrictive should be evaluated to ensure officers are not being required to assume unreasonable risks to their safety. 31 notes
Main Term(s): Police safety
Index Term(s): Arrest procedures; Detention; Police policies and procedures; US Supreme Court decisions; Vehicle stops; Warrants
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