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Archive for the ‘law enforcement personnel’ Category

Police Indemnification

December 11, 2014 Comments off

Police Indemnification (PDF)
Source: New York University Law Review

This Article empirically examines an issue central to judicial and scholarly debate about civil rights damages actions: whether law enforcement officials are financially responsible for settlements and judgments in police misconduct cases. The Supreme Court has long assumed that law enforcement officers must personally satisfy settlements and judgments, and has limited individual and government liability in civil rights damages actions—through qualified immunity doctrine, municipal liability standards, and limitations on punitive damages—based in part on this assumption. Scholars disagree about the prevalence of indemnification: Some believe officers almost always satisfy settlements and judgments against them, and others contend indemnification is not a certainty.

In this Article, I report the findings of a national study of police indemnification. Through public records requests, interviews, and other sources, I have collected information about indemnification practices in forty-four of the largest law enforcement agencies across the country, and in thirty-seven small and mid-sized agencies. My study reveals that police officers are virtually always indemnified: During the study period, governments paid approximately 99.98% of the dollars that plaintiffs recovered in lawsuits alleging civil rights violations by law enforcement. Law enforcement officers in my study never satisfied a punitive damages award entered against them and almost never contributed anything to settlements or judgments— even when indemnification was prohibited by law or policy, and even when officers were disciplined, terminated, or prosecuted for their conduct. After describing my findings, this Article considers the implications of widespread indemnification for qualified immunity, municipal liability, and punitive damages doctrines; civil rights litigation practice; and the deterrence and compensation goals of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

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Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned

December 8, 2014 Comments off

Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned
Source: U.S. Department of Justice (Community-Oriented Policing Services) and Police Executive Research Forum

In recent years, many law enforcement agencies have been deploying small video cameras worn by officers to record encounters with the public; investigate officer-involved incidents; produce evidence; and strengthen agency performance, accountability, and transparency. While body-worn cameras have the potential to improve police services, they also raise issues involving privacy, police-community relationships, procedural justice, and technical and cost questions, all of which agencies should examine as they consider this technology. The Police Executive Research Forum, with support from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, conducted research in 2013 on the use of body-worn cameras. This research included interviews with police executives, a review of agencies’ policies, and a national conference at which 200 police executives and other experts discussed their experiences with body-worn cameras. This publication describes the findings of this research, explores the issues surrounding body-worn cameras, and offers policy recommendations for law enforcement agencies.

Hat tip: PW

The “Militarization” of Law Enforcement and the Department of Defense’s “1033 Program”, CRS Insights (December 2, 2014)

December 5, 2014 Comments off

The “Militarization” of Law Enforcement and the Department of Defense’s “1033 Program”, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

August 2014 clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, MO, sparked a national conversation about the “militarization” of law enforcement and the expanding role of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams. Both the House and the Senate held hearings on what role the Department of Defense’s (DOD) “1033 Program” might play in the militarization of law enforcement.

Department of Justice Releases Resource Guide to Help Law Enforcement Strengthen Relationships with Communities

December 2, 2014 Comments off

Department of Justice Releases Resource Guide to Help Law Enforcement Strengthen Relationships with Communities<
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) today announced the release of a resource guide intended to help law enforcement officers build stronger community-police relations. The Resource Guide for Enhancing Community Relationships and Protecting Privacy and Constitutional Rights is a collaboration between BJA and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).

For many years, BJA and the COPS Office have developed guides, publications, webinars, checklists and tools for law enforcement agencies on community policing, building community trust, diversity training, privacy protections, and safeguarding first amendment rights. Building strong police-community relations requires a sustained effort over time, yet maintaining these relationships is exceedingly difficult during and in the aftermath of a high-profile incident or civil unrest. Professional law enforcement departments and effective operations require training and ongoing support from all partners. This guide helps law enforcement agencies locate these resources in one place, including in-person and online training opportunities, publications, reports, podcasts, and websites.

FBI Releases 2013 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

December 2, 2014 Comments off

FBI Releases 2013 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

According to statistics collected by the FBI, 76 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2013. Of these, 27 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts, and 49 officers died in accidents. In addition, 49,851 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults. Comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal attacks and selected assaults resulting in injury are included in the 2013 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, released today.

Stop and Frisk: Balancing Crime Control with Community Relations

November 14, 2014 Comments off

Stop and Frisk: Balancing Crime Control with Community Relations
Source: Urban Institute

Police have been stopping, questioning, and frisking pedestrians for decades in an effort to protect themselves and the public from harm. However, pedestrians may view the stop and frisk experience as unjustified and perceive that they are subject to unfair and overly aggressive treatment. These feelings are most pronounced for those residing in high-crime areas that are targets for intensive stop and frisk activities. Because citizens’ views of the police contribute to their willingness to cooperate with and empower law enforcement, minimizing the negative effects of stop and frisk is crucial for overall police effectiveness and is especially important for improving relations with communities of color. This publication discusses the constitutionality and legal precedents of stop and frisk and the theory and practice behind these street stops. This background is followed by a discus¬sion of stop and frisk’s unintended consequences and a series of practical recommendations for the lawful and respectful use of pedestrian stops in the context of community policing.

Eight out of 10 Citizens Believe More Digital Tools Can Improve Police Services, According to New Research by Accenture

October 27, 2014 Comments off

Eight out of 10 Citizens Believe More Digital Tools Can Improve Police Services, According to New Research by Accenture
Source: Accenture

Eight-out-of-10 citizens surveyed by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) believe expanded use of new and advanced digital tools would improve police services. Specifically, they are comfortable with police officers using: predictive technologies (88 percent), security cameras (83 percent), wearable technologies, such as body-worn cameras, (80 percent) and mobile devices (89 percent).

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