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    Failure of Supervisory Involvement in Pursuit Contributes to Liability

    Clark v. South Carolina Department of Public Safety, 2002 S.C. App. LEXIS ( S.C. Ct.App. 2002), involved a police pursuit conducted by the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Trooper Greg Bradley observed a van operating at 57 mph in a 45 mph zone. He attempted to pull the van over but the van took off. At one point the van stopped in ...
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    K9 Team Stress Management

    Police Officers historically have had high stress levels in their careers. They are prone to heart attacks, high blood pressure, and premature deaths as a direct result of the job we do. Our stresses within the job vary with each shift, and unlike the steady stresses that occur from financial burdens, home difficulties etc., our stress includes those problems, but is ...
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    The First Layer: Policy Establishing Departmental Standards of Performance

    In the previous article titled: "Focus on Liability Reduction and Better Performance" we described the Six Layered Liability Protection Process which requires absolute attention to the development of policies based on the principle of "foreseeability" for the performance of certain tasks, the training in the necessary skills and critical policies, quality supervision, corrective action and remediation, constant review and necessary revision, ...
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    United States Court of Appeal for 6th Circuit Upholds Discrimination Award in Transsexual Promotion Case

    Philip, now Philiecia, Barnes a member of the Cincinnati Police Department filed a lawsuit alleging, among other things, sex discrimination after he failed to pass the probationary period following his promotion to sergeant. In 1999, Phillip Barnes was living as a pre-operative male to female transsexual. When Barnes worked as a police officer during the day, he lived as a male, ...
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    Renewed Challenges Based on Miranda

    Over the past couple of years courts have seen a renewed number of claims based upon allegations related to violations of the 5th Amendment self-incrimination clause as well as violations of the rule announced in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). Two cases decided on June 28th 2004 provide some guidance for law enforcement agencies with respect to the reaches ...
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    Failure to Have Policy on a Critical TaskSearch and Seizure May Lead to Liability

    Solis v. City of Columbus, 319 F.Supp. 2d 797 (S.D. Ohio 2004), provides an example of potential agency liability for the failure to have a policy in place that will protect the rights of citizens in their homes. Solis involved the execution of a search warrant by a SWAT team following an investigation conducted by Detective Cox. Detective Cox was working ...
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    The Death Notification

    Got your attention, didn’t I? Greetings from the Bluebonnet Capital of Texas and welcome to this edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. Okay, Okay…Llano is “officially” the Deer Capital of Texas, but we’ve got so many bluebonnets up and blooming already this year it could go the other way. Well, on to “business.” This is something that’s been on my heart for ...
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    Major Lesson Plan: Pursuit Judgment

    Target Audience: Law Enforcement personnel who may be faced with pursuit decisions. Objective: Provide officers with training on judgment/decision making ability with respect to pursuits. Format: Roll-call/ supervisory training. Time: Five to ten minutes, but this may be expanded where agency resources allow Materials: Law Enforcement Risk Management Legal Update, March 2004; Department Pursuit Policy Hypothetical presented: Officers observe a speeding ...
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    Canine Sniff of Parked Vehicle Upheld

    Parking Lot Search Valid Under 4th Amendment On April 20th 2004, the Court of Appeals, 1st District of Indiana upheld the use of canines to conduct general exterior inspections of vehicles parked in a high school parking lot. Myers v. State of Indiana, 806 N.E.2d 350 (IN. Ct. App. 1st Dist. 2004). After the Scott County School Board authorized the use ...
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    Helpful Hints: Myths & Facts During a Disaster

    **MYTH** People will panic. People are unable to cope. Local organizations are overwhelmed and unable to perform effectively. Antisocial behavior (that is, looting) is commonplace. Community morale is low in stricken areas. Firm measures are needed to prevent personal and social chaos. **FACT** They do not panic. In fact, getting them to evacuate is a bigger problem. People react in an ...
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    Helpful Hints: Drug-Dependent Behavior

    A person who has overdosed should be treated as a medical emergency, and police officers must be able to recognize the symptoms. Acute opiate overdose is characterized by a marked unresponsiveness, in the presence of very slow or labored breathing. Needle marks and/or tracks will be noted. The pupils are pinpoints, and both pulse and heartbeat are extremely slow. If the ...
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    Reasonable Training And Policy Direction On Handling Of The Mentally Ill And Emotionally Disturbed Persons?

    In Walker v. City of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit gave law enforcement some direction for determining what training officers must be provided with to do their jobs professionally and with lower liability exposure. Essentially the case indicated that if you know to a moral certainty that officers will confront a certain situation; and ...
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    Leptospirosis - A Threat to the Police Working Dog? - Bob Wright

    A Serious Threat to Working Dogs? In early 2002 I was contracted to train a number of dogs for a high end Security Company to work in a closed and controlled research environment. The new and interesting part was the very strict medical screening and various quarantines had to be complete. Over the years I thought I had developed a great ...
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    Pepper Spray

    Over the last decade police agencies have turned to the use of pepper-spray as an alternative on their use of force options list. While pepper-spray seems to have significantly reduced injuries to suspects caused by impact weapons, pepper-spray has not been litigation-free. A high-profile case from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals established that the use of pepper-spray against passively resistant ...
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    New Book, New Page, New Puzzle

    Hello, and welcome to the Chaplain’s Corner 2009. New Year’s 2009! Wow. I can still remember back in high school when I thought the year 2000 was so far in the future that it would never get here. Doesn’t seem possible, yet here it is again...another new year. A new year. A time of new things. Some of us are lucky ...
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    Drug Enforcement and Holsters

    When I transferred to a countywide Drug Task Force in January 1996 I thought I had considered everything that would be relevant to my new assignment. I was wrong. I went from wearing a full police uniform and gun belt to jeans and T-shirts – in other words plain clothes. I quickly was presented the issue of how was I going ...
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    Procedural Time Limits In Administrative Investigations - Absolutes

    When you are involved with public employee disciplinary matters and have procedural time limits imposed on your case, failing to meet those time limits will normally result in losing the ability to discipline the employee regardless what the misconduct may be. In essence these limits are essentially a statute of limitations, in other words, bring your discipline within the allotted time ...
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    Carrying a Knife: Officer Safety and Administrative Considerations

    The carrying of a knife by on duty law enforcement officers has become quite widespread. Officers spend a lot of time reading through police and military supply catalogs and comparing knives. Unfortunately, few officers have contemplated a host of issues that come with the packing of the edged weapon. Here are a few of the items for you to ponder when ...
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    Autism and Law Enforcement

    Autism and Law Enforcement produced by Dennis Debbaudt and directed by Dave Legacy, April 2004. The video Autism and Law Enforcement provides a quick and engaging education in autism that can help increase safety for both officers and individuals with autism, as well as minimize the potential for litigation that could occur as a result of a misunderstanding. Interviews and vignettes ...
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    Selecting the Proper Issue in a Child Physical Abuse Investigation

    The nature of most crimes involve a central criminal behavior such as stealing money, starting a fire, selling drugs or having sexual contact with another person. Under these circumstances, the focus of the interview will specifically address the criminal behavior, e.g., "Did you steal that $2000?", "Did you start the warehouse fire?" However, when investigating physical abuse to a child, the ...
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