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    US Supreme Ct - Randolph v. Georgia

    Police Cannot Use the Consent of a Co-Occupant to Make Entry in Order to Search for Evidence to be used Against the Opposing Occupant who Is Present and Objects to the Entry. Georgia v. Randolph, 547 U.S. ___, slip op. 04-1067 (3/22/06). The United States Supreme Court further clarified the rules regarding consent searches in homes in Randolph v. Georgia, decided ...
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    Retention of ID During a Consensual Encounter

    Golphin v. Florida, No. SC03-554 (December 14, 2006) The Supreme Court of Florida recently decided an important case regarding consensual encounters. In Golphin v. Florida , two police officers were on patrol in an area of Daytona Beach that is known for prostitution and narcotics traffic. The police officers were specifically in that area to conduct field interviews with individuals in ...
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    License to Use Caution with Vehicle Pursuits

    Many police pursuit proponents read with eagerness of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent case involving law enforcement chases. The 2007 case, Scott v. Harris was interpreted by many road rangers as giving more latitude to the officer pursuing the miscreants of the motorways. Actually the ruling should be examined within the scope of it two points. It also serves as a ...
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    Totally Disabled Parent Seeks Victim Status: Court: Pluto is less remote to us than the Plaintiffs argument

    Stephen Prescott believes that parents may think twice about attending their children’s school events if the law prevents them from successfully suing the school corporation after being injured on school property. The Connecticut Supreme Court recently heard and rejected Prescott’s argument, finding that schools owed students’ parents no special duty of care. Prescott was injured after his son’s Thanksgiving 1998 football ...
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    Preparing a Defense in Law Enforcement Litigation: A Formula for Law Enforcement

    Any significant law enforcement event has the potential to develop in a claim made against the agency and the officers involved. The likelihood of a lawsuit is enhanced when individuals involved in the event are injured or claim a violation of their rights at the outset. Depending upon the nature of the event and the public interest involved, the media may ...
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    Improving Reactions To Lethal Force

    The potential for high risk situations is becoming more common as our society continues to deal with an increasing crime rate. As a dog handler, you will be at greater risk for lethal confrontations as a direct result of your K9 applications. There are a number of things that you can do to help you survive such encounters. Many of those ...
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    Police Involvement Does Not Always Invalidate Search

    An issue that is often raised in school search cases is the question as to what level of police involvement will require that a search be supported by probable cause rather than the reasonable suspicion standard allowed for school officials. A case on point was decided by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently. In the Interest of A.D., 844 A.2d 20 ...
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    Overview of Police Liability

    While police officers may believe that they will be exposed to liability for all of their actions, both proper and improper, the fact of the matter is that most courts have avoided second-guessing police actions and have only sanctioned the most egregious conduct. There are various levels of liability that may exist when an officer’s actions are deemed improper. The purpose ...
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    United States Supreme CourtSummary of Law Enforcement Cases 2004-2005 Term

    United States Supreme Court Summary of Law Enforcement Cases 2004-2005 Term Each term, the United States Supreme Court decides cases having a direct impact on various aspects of law enforcement operations. During the 2004-2005 term, the Court decided 5 such cases touching on day to day operations in law enforcement. These cases have been detailed in the legal update as they ...
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    History Lesson

    Welcome to the June 2010 Edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. Like last year, I’m writing my June column just days after the conclusion of Police Week, but UNlike last year, I can talk – I have a voice! I can even YELL at wayward bull calves in bar ditches when I have to – one of the “little pleasures” of being ...
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    The Ticket – Part 1

    Hi, and welcome once again to the “Hot & Dry Edition,” I mean, August edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. I said it last year and I have to say it again; “Here it is almost football season again and still no rain.” At least none to speak of…two years of drought. It’s getting old. Sigh. You know it’s been a while ...
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    One o'clock in the morning. July. You're a white cop patrolling an affluent section of town. As usual there isn't a car on the road. Typical. Inaction waiting for action. You notice a Mercedes 300D pull into a large colonial and observe a man, woman, and two children exit, open the trunk and begin to take out suit cases. "Back from ...
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    New Year and Paintbrushes

    Hello, and welcome to the Chaplain’s Corner 2010. New Year’s 2010! 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. (I say that every year, don’t I?) New Year and Paintbrushes. Now, I bet there’s at least one person out there who’s wondering ...
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    The Subject Specific Interview Approach

    In recent years several behavioral science experts have focused their research efforts on reviewing hundreds of investigative interviews and interrogations. There have been two goals of some of these studies. One has been to determine how successful the interviewers are at accurately identifying and analyzing the behavioral signs of deception. The second has been to gain greater insight into the investigative ...
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    When Suspect is NOT in Custody, Seibert Analysis is NOT Needed

    U.S. v. Courtney, 463 F.3d 333 (5th Cir. 2006) Cherie Marie Courtney testified falsely at the trial of her boyfriend, Shawn Kilgarlin. Two EPA Special Agents conducted two interviews with Courtney. A year later she was indicted, arrested and Mirandized. She waived her rights and spoke with the Agents. She again made incriminating statements similar to her prior statements. At a ...
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    Use of Force: TASER

    Over the past few years, the use of Tasers (electronic restraining/compliance device) has become more common among law enforcement agencies nationwide. As the use of Tasers becomes more prevalent, law enforcement agencies can expect claims to be made regarding their use. As with any use of force, courts will look at three factors in determining if a particular use of force ...
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    U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit and Federal Liability forEmergency Vehicle Operation

    An area where few federal lawsuits have occurred has been where a collision occurs at the result of a police officer’s emergency vehicle response to an in-progress radio call. A new case from the United States Court of Appeal for the 8th Circuit may expose public safety agencies to further liability in federal court based upon non-pursuit emergency vehicle operation. In ...
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    The Law of Citizen Contacts and Stop and Frisk

    On a daily basis police officers have contacts with citizens that are consensual and thus do not implicate the Fourth Amendment. These contacts do not require the police to have any level of suspicion to justify the contact. Since police do not justify the stop based on some level of suspicion, the police have no authority to force a non-willing citizen ...
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    Training/Documentation “Major Lesson Plan”

    As part of the Liability and Risk Management Institute’s continued effort to further manage the risk and reduce financial losses through lawsuits, each edition of the legal update will include a major lesson plan. This major lesson plan may be used as a method to conduct and document training. How does it work? Supervisors are provided with the legal update for ...
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    Use of Deadly ForcePre-Shooting Events Impacting Reasonableness of Shooting

    An on-going issue in deadly force cases is how courts will review the totality of circumstances surrounding the shooting and how officer tactics and actions before the shooting may have an impact on the reasonableness of the use of deadly force. Some of the federal circuits view the “totality of circumstances” as only that moment in time where the officer pulls ...
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