It’s no secret that working in law enforcement is inherently risky; police officers put their lives on the line every day. Risk management is about more than just officer safety though; while safety is always a top priority in the field, law enforcement can also be held liable for their actions towards civilians and suspected criminals. This is why it’s essential to have the appropriate Law Enforcement Liability risk management program in place.
What exactly does risk management look like for law enforcement, however? The first sign of a robust risk management program is an understanding of what type of lawsuits are commonly faced by these professionals. Some of the most common reasons for litigation against law enforcement include: unlawful search and seizure, excessive force, automobile accident negligence, and false arrest.
Lawsuits are not the only risk involved with a claim of unlawful search and seizure; the evidence obtained from this action, even if only alleged, can prevent courts from using it to defend or prosecute a case. The best way for a law officer to potentially avoid a legal claim in this scenario is to obtain written consent from the person being searched.
Excessive force cases have been making headlines recently, and unfortunately many individuals are quick to point fingers and lay blame if they feel an officer has used unnecessary force. Sometimes these claims may be unavoidable, however the best way to mitigate losses in these situations would be for the officer to consider the severity of the crime, the threat a suspect poses, and whether or not he or she is resisting, when deciding what physical action to take.
Automobile accident negligence claims typically happen when a collision and/or injury is caused by the actions of law enforcement; such as being in the wrong place at the wrong time during a high-speed chase. Police officers and their departments should ensure that the have the right policies in place that define the procedures for operating a police cruiser.
A final common cause of legal claims is from false arrest. A person may claim that he or she was arrested by an officer who didn’t have the right to do so, or that they were taken into custody without consent. It’s imperative that officers remain consistent about documenting arrests and other police actions.
These claims are just some of the most common lawsuits our professionals hear about at Allied Public Risk. Allied Public Risk is dedicated solely to the underwriting of public entity exposures supported by our staffs’ years of experience and expertise in this niche market. Our seasoned professionals offer decades of specialized knowledge derived from helping manage and mitigate risks faced by public entities.
K2 Insurance Services, LLC was formed by two insurance industry veterans with the purpose of acquiring managing general agents and developing multi-line programs. Our goal is to distribute innovative products through retail and wholesale distribution channels. To learn more about our services and partners, please contact us today at (855) 976-8113 or visit K2INS.COM