Most major law enforcement agencies have their own Risk Analysis Section which usually works with their Use of Force Review Section. These larger agencies are keenly aware that police work is inherently risky; our officers put their lives on the line every minute of every day. At Eques Group we know risk management is about more than just officer safety; our research shows that agencies can be held liable for their actions towards civilians and suspects. This is why it’s essential to have an appropriate risk management system in place.
The Eques Group now brings a proven systematic approach to risk management for the majority of law enforcement agencies.Let the Eques Group help you at a time when budgets are problematic. With an economy that is reducing tax revenues which are leading to tighter budgets for most agencies risk management considerations are often pushed further down the priority list.Even when agencies receive significant additional funding, that money is often earmarked for purposes that do not include risk management.
What exactly does risk management look like for law enforcement? The first sign of a robust risk management program is an understanding of what type of lawsuits are commonly faced by these professionals. Dr. Darrell Ross conducted one of the largest studies to date pertaining to risk management and law enforcement. The study A Risk Management Analysis of Claims, Litigation, and Losses of Michigan Law Enforcement Agencies: 1985-1999. Using official records of a risk management entity in Michigan, 15 years of incidents (11,273) were analyzed in order to identify the trends in third party claims, liability, and losses of police departments and detention centers. The general findings of the 11,273 claims were provided as well as a detailed analysis of 2,929 claims, representing 25 common categories in police work and detention facilities. The findings illustrated the current trends in police liability and reveal important managerial concerns which could direct administrators in revising policy and procedures and focus training endeavors using risk management strategies. According to the research, the five most common types of claims were in order of occurrence: (1) Auto Accident Without Injury (2) Use of Force (3) Property Damage (4) Pursuit Without Injury (5) False Arrest.
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 and avoid becoming the next Ferguson, Missouri would be to have the right policies, training, leadership and community support for the agency prior to any major incident.
*These claims are just some of the most common lawsuits our professionals hear about at the Eques Group. Our seasoned professionals offer decades of specialized knowledge derived from helping manage and mitigate risks faced by public entities .
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