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Risk Management in Police Force Institutions Essay

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Updated: Jan 15th, 2022

Risk management is a process through which an organization reduces costs that are linked to potential liability claims and minimizes harm to its workers and clients (Mastrofski, Jonathan-Zamir, Moyal, & Willis, 2016; Walker & Archbold, 2018). Across all firms, the process is typified by the following steps:

  • Step one: Establishing risks, their frequencies, and the extent to which they can harm a corporation and clients.
  • Step two: Determining methods to handle the identified harms.
  • Step three: Choosing the most appropriate solution to manage the identified liabilities.
  • Step four: Implementing the chosen solution to manage exposure to harm.
  • Step five: Evaluating the responses or effectiveness of the implemented method to handle potential risks.

In the context of police, top managers can identify the use of force during arrests as an action that can result in liability to a police department. The harm could be due to loss of confidence in the department by the public due to the harassment or physical injury that can lead to loss of finances when challenged in a court of law. The second step would involve the determination of several solutions, which can be changed in policies, supervision, organizational procedures, and training of police officers. The third step is where the management should evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the identified methods. The step would also involve selecting the best solution based on its rank in terms of suitability to handle the identified risk. The fourth step would involve executing the chosen method to handle the potential liability, while the fifth step would be typified by evaluation of the implemented strategy to determine its effectiveness in managing the issue of the use of force when arresting individuals in a community (Jochum, 2017).

The rapid advancement and adoption of technology have improved how organizations operate across the world. Police departments have been positively impacted by the use of technology in their operations (Lum, Koper, & Willis, 2017; Coudert, Butin, & Le Métayer, 2015; Morgan, Murphy, & Horwitz, 2017). According to Walker and Archbold (2018), the use of technology has affected accountability by police officers. For example, members of the public videotape police activities, and some of the recordings have been used as evidence in courts of law. Since police officers know they can be videotaped by the public when they are discharging their duties in communities, they act in ways that demonstrate accountability. Another example is the utilization of a free app on smartphones in New Jersey that allows citizens to record both video and audio activities of police officers, which are saved to the user’s phone and also sent to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the State of New Jersey (Walker & Archbold, 2018). Other technologies that affect the accountability of police officers by recording their interactions with citizens are websites. For example, “Open Watch.net” was founded in 2011 to offer apps that allow citizens to record their interactions with police officers tactfully. Contents of the apps are saved on the Open Watch’s database (Walker & Archbold, 2018). Interestingly, there are even police officers who document their interactions with the public and utilize the recordings to protect themselves when allegations of misconduct are instituted against them in courts of law. According to these examples, it is apparent that police officers will be more accountable in the future because their activities in communities can be monitored (Caless & Owens, 2016).

The Monell case started in 1971 when the petitioners challenged the decision of the New York Board of Education’s decision to send them on compulsory maternity leave (Walker & Archbold, 2018). The petitioners in the case were women who had been told to proceed on maternal leave on compulsory conditions, while the respondents were “the department and its commissioner, the Board and its Chancellor, and the city of New York and its Mayor” (Green, 2015, p. 1080). The District Court held that it had been unconstitutional to send the petitioners on compulsory maternal leave, but they would not be compensated as based on Monroe v. Pape. However, the Supreme Court was of the view that the petitioners were entitled to compensation following the violation of their rights as provided by the law. The decision by the highest court of the land resulted in huge payouts for all women who had been sent on compulsory “maternity leave from the time suit started to July 1968” (Green, 2015, p. 1082). The ruling by the Supreme Court was important in informing government agencies like police departments and officials that they were not immune from prosecution and they were accountable for their actions. In other words, the case established an essential tool for ensuring that police officials are accountable to the law. In my view, the case has significantly improved accountability police accountability since it is clear to all law-enforcement officers that they are held liable for any activity that is against the Constitution. Managers of police departments stress the importance of their members acting in ways that do not deny individuals their rights as provided by the law (Donner, Fridell, & Jennings, 2016).

References

  1. Donner, C. M., Fridell, L. A., & Jennings, W. G. (2016). The relationship between self-control and police misconduct: A multi-agency study of first-line police supervisors. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 43(7), 841-862.
  2. Green, T. K. (2015). On employment discrimination and police misconduct: Title VII and the mirage of the Monell analogue. Boston University Law Review, 95(23), 1077-1098.
  3. Walker, S. E., & Archbold, C. A. (2018). The new world of police accountability (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Sage Publications.
  4. Jochum, K. (2017). Teaming up: Components of safety under high risk. New York, NY: Routledge.
  5. Mastrofski, S. D., Jonathan-Zamir, T., Moyal, S., & Willis, J. J. (2016). Predicting procedural justice in police-citizen encounters. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 43(1), 119-139.
  6. Walker, S. E., & Archbold, C. A. (2018). The new world of police accountability (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Sage Publications.
  7. Caless, B., & Owens, J. (2016). Police and crime commissioners: The transformation of police accountability. New York, NY: Policy Press.
  8. Coudert, F., Butin, D., & Le Métayer, D. (2015). Body-worn cameras for police accountability: Opportunities and risks. Computer Law & Security review, 31(6), 749-762.
  9. Lum, C., Koper, C. S., & Willis, J. (2017). Understanding the limits of technology’s impact on police effectiveness. Police Quarterly, 20(2), 135-163.
  10. Morgan, T. H. S., Murphy, D., & Horwitz, B. (2017). Police reform through data-driven management. Police Quarterly, 20(3), 275-294.
  11. Walker, S. E., & Archbold, C. A. (2018). The new world of police accountability (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Sage Publications.
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IvyPanda. 2022. "Risk Management in Police Force Institutions." January 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/risk-management-in-police-force-institutions/.

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