Though providing a crucial safety and security service to the public, police officers often find themselves in legal situations involving allegations or charges of misconduct or wrongdoing. The same actions taken to help uphold the law are sometimes used to accuse a law enforcement officer of causing harm to another, whether directly or indirectly. There are several liabilities surrounding officers and the fulfillment of their duties. For this reason, police officer liability insurance is a must-have for those working in law enforcement.
Police officers must contend with the consequences of their actions, especially when they have caused deliberate harm to others. Situations of negligence or willful violence may lead to a lawsuit, as can an incident where a police officer failed to act in order to protect another when the law demanded such an action. Civil liabilities can lead to costly court battles and settlements.
Law enforcement officers that behave in a manner not sanctioned by the employing police department or state laws may be subject to criminal charges. The burden of proof rests with the victim of an incident or the state, but the officer will require legal counsel in order to mount a defense. This can be a devastating expense and one that could keep an officer from having a chance at success.
Liability insurance is one way officers can access the financial resources needed to handle litigation. Policies vary, but it is an expense worth considering.