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Civil Liability Cases

Decent Essays
INTRODUCTION
Police officers deal with both crime and the public on a daily basis, so they need to be diligent in their knowledge of Civil Rights Laws in order to avoid lawsuits that can come from those rights being violated. “The best way to avoid liability is logic and training” (Wells, 2014). The costs for civil liability lawsuits involving police officers/departments just for lack of or inadequate training based on a survey in 2000 were substantial as “the average award for plaintiffs was about $492,000 and attorney fees for the prevailing party averaged $60,000” (Spencer, 2007, p. 2). Some of the most common types of liability lawsuits include “false arrest, unlawful detention, excessive force, assault & battery, unlawful search, unlawful
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Laws sometimes do change between yearly meetings such an example is the cases of New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981) that stated “when a policeman has made a lawful custodial arrest of the occupant of an automobile, he may, as a contemporaneous incident of that arrest, search the passenger compartment of that automobile” (New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 1981). Before this, the “law of the land that whenever an officer made a lawful arrest of the occupant of a vehicle, the passenger compartment of that vehicle could be searched without a warrant” (Clark, 2013, p. 5). In an instance of law changes such as this, it would be essential to get the information out to the officers swiftly, which can be done in a shift change meeting, or with the use of a departmental memo sent out to…show more content…
Every officer or police personnel whether they have been there one month, one year or over 15 years should be trained in current law liability. A policy like the one mentioned in this paper should be implemented in all law enforcement organizations, and good communication within the department is a necessity to making the policy work. Once policy and training are established, the cost of the section 1983 lawsuits should go down and departments will be more cost effective and legally effective. In the long run, the costs of implementing training, materials and time will be greatly less than it would be paying out for
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