Civil Settlements and Jury Verdicts

Civil settlements and jury verdicts occur in police civil misconduct litigation. Should this cost be borne by the police agency? Should the involved police employees be subject to some of this cost? Due to the nature of policing, police departments across the country routinely face civil litigation. With reasonable suspicion or probable cause, police officers can seize an individual and take away their constitutional rights and due to that power, officers must be right or they could find themselves and their department in a multi-million dollar lawsuit. During my 16 years in law enforcement, my agency has been the subject [...]

Do you believe that public safety employees should be allowed representation during compelled administrative investigation interviews? – C. Chin – IL

The question whether or not officers should be allowed representation during these compelled interviews is more of a reflection of the professionalism and the ability of the police organization to follow formal rules and procedures rather than the act of the officer(s) being investigated.  The notion of having legal and/or union representation during these interviews is a safeguard and protects the officer against a malicious or wayward organization.  When officers are sworn in to become the police, the last thing on their mind is being formally investigated with the possibility of being fired.  Although officers are accustomed to the formalities [...]

July 18th, 2022|Categories: Representation During Compelled Interview?|

American Law Enforcement and Societal Changes – B. Gonzales – Tennessee

In order for us to determine the current culture of American Law Enforcement in today’s societal changes in the country, we first have to look at how American Law Enforcement was started and changed throughout the years.  Policing started in Colonial America dating back to 1636 in the City of Boston.  The use of what were called “watchmen” was designed to keep tabs on prostitution and gambling, however it was later deemed a place people were sent as a sign of punishment.  Although supervised by constables, most watchmen drank and slept on the job.  As the nation grew, the need [...]

July 18th, 2022|Categories: Current Culture of American LE|

What changes in Internal Affairs protocols do you feel are necessary today with the changing environment of new employees and potential police misconduct litigation? – P. Schumpe –

In law enforcement, it is commonly stated that the most important division of a law enforcement organization is the Recruiting and Background Division. How thorough the background investigator is during that process, in order to weed out the proverbial bad apples, is absolutely crucial for the organization. Failure to complete an accurate background investigation at the beginning stage and not catching the issues that would disqualify that applicant before even hiring them, only sets the stage for a future Administrative Investigation on this now duly employed employee. If Recruiting does not hold up their end of the bargain, then rest [...]

July 18th, 2022|Categories: Changes to IA Protocol|

Do you believe the current culture of American law enforcement is compatible with the current societal changes in the country? – T. Owen – South Carolina

Historically, different cultures will have cultural conflicts when the two cultures don’t understand each other.  When these cultures refuse to learn about the other, the conflict will grow.  Law enforcement is a tight knit culture that is constantly evolving, but due to social media and over mediated mistakes, law enforcement will always shrouded in “Blue Line” brotherhood, conflict and conspiracy.  The current culture of law enforcement is not compatible with the current societal changes in this country and unfortunately never will. The famous statue of Lady Justice is blindfolded.  This symbolizes looking at a situation without passion or prejudice.  Each [...]

July 18th, 2022|Categories: Current Culture of American LE|

Do you believe the current culture of American law enforcement is compatible with the current societal changes in the country? – R. Vaught – Ohio

Recent societal changes in America have come into conflict with the current culture in law enforcement.  Those conflicts have been played out in the media and social media and have created a schism between the way society views the role of law enforcement and those agency’s policies.  In order to bridge this gap, law enforcement agencies in America need to address several issues. The first area that law enforcement administrators and executives need to address is transparency.  The rise of social media has created an arena for the dissemination of material that may be biased, incomplete, or outright false.  More [...]

April 12th, 2022|Categories: Current Culture of American LE|