Command and Staff Program

Progressive Law Enforcement Leader Effectively Managing Departmental Risks

Replies
254
Voices
132
Dr. Mitch Javidi
Instructions:  
  1. Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module.  Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
  2. After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them. 
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    Monte Potier

    With law enforcement officers having to deal with the potential life and death situations daily administrators must continually access both their policies and available resources that may be given to officers. This is a "must" for the protection for both the officers and the public they serve.

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      Drauzin Kinler

      Monte, I agree this is an area that must be addressed, or the agency needs to keep their checkbook open. Limiting your officer's ability to make decisions based on strict policies is not beneficial to the officer or the organization. Continuous training is also an essential piece to effectively managing risk and liabilities.

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        Paul Brignac III

        I agree that training must continue in order to effectively manage risk. Trainers must recognize that high risk areas continue to change and evolve, and we must adjust training to meet these changes.

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      Nancy Franklin

      Monte,

      I agree that as leaders, we must continue to evaluate policies and police training to ensure our officers are protected and provided with the best tools for dealing with the changing dynamics of policing.

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        chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

        I agree, we must remember that risk management takes into account several components that require review and analysis to adequate assess and mitigate the risk associated with engaging in a particular activity.

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      Brian Johnson

      Monte, these are very complex issues that require us to develop and ensure that our employees are competent at fulfilling their duties. Our ability to positively influence our personnel and get them to exceed expectations will increase duty performance and reduce civil liability. When we empower employees to make critical decisions, we must provide them with the training to be successful. Focus on providing leadership, quality training, and holding everyone accountable- leading from the front!

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      Eduardo Palomares

      Exemplary leaders must daily assess protocols, department policies and procedures for risk management. With law enforcement being a profession of risk, leaders must work hard to minimize the risk to the officers and the agency. Agency leaders need to evaluate the need for tools and resources for the officers to effectively do their jobs.

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        I agree that it is a revolving assessment and there is a need for supervisors to ensure the measure that are in place to protect not only the officer, but the public, are adhered to.

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        Buck Wilkins

        This is very true, I am thankful that we have someone available that covers everything in Risk management. If we ever have a problem that occurs he is the first to act.

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      I agree that with officers having to deal with life and death situations on a regular basis that resources that are available to them shouldn't have much a of a limit when it comes to policies and procedures. Yes, policies and procedures need to be in place, but you also need to be able to trust your officers that if they request more resources they should be allowed to get them. They may need to clear it with administration first, but there should be room to improvise in those types of situations.

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      Miranda Rogers

      I agree, and hopefully, the officers recognize that many of the policies are for their own protection.

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    Mike Brown

    There is a rule in my department that every year all employees must take an 80 hours block of vacation. Also officers are required to wear the body worn cameras when dealing with the public.

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        ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

        They certainly have and all officers must understand they are for their own good and use them religiously.

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      Major Willie Stewart

      That’s important. We haven’t gotten body cameras yet. However, we do have in car cameras for uniform patrol. There are so many policies that agencies have to adjust, create and monitor. That’s good on the vacation, I think officers need it.

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    Joey Prevost

    There is definitely a need for risk management in our line of work. We should work actively to mitigate risk not just to avoid civil liability, but because we want to do the right thing. Special attention needs to be given to the Human Factors.

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      Jason Porter

      The civil liability is always at the forefront of risk management for sure. Well said about doing the right thing also.

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      Judith Estorge

      I agree about the human factors. It is important to get officers to make wiser decisions and govern their actions. The human factors are able to be affected and influence resulting in less injuries and deaths.

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        Lance Landry

        Judith I agree creating a culture where officers make better decisions is difficult. We managed to tie it in with the reduction of liability costs affected raises.

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      Brian Lewis

      I agree Joey, the human factor does need special attention. We've implemented a workout program as well as a 24/7 online wellness toolkit that officer can access with their phone.

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      Eduardo Palomares

      Joey,

      I truly believe that active involvement in risk management will prevent a significant lawsuit later. It doesn’t matter what topic, we have to continuously speak with our personnel and be good role models for professional and ethical behavior.

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      Kyle Turner

      I agree that mitigating risk is not just about liability but doing the right thing. If we care about our community and our employees, minimizing risk is essential to communicating that concern.

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      Justin Payer

      As leaders, one of our main functions should be risk management. We should try to mitigate risk of litigation, risk of injury to our officers, risk of injury to the public, and the risks of actions that would be detrimental to our reputation as an agency.

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    Drauzin Kinler

    Since our Sheriff is an attorney, liabilities and risk management is always kept as a high priority. As part of the command staff, we are required to continually review and update policy to ensure that the best practices are being utilized. When updating policies and procedures, the option of empowering officers is always considered as the best option. Our agency provides officers with the latest equipment and training available so that they have the knowledge and ability to manage risk.

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      Dan Wolff

      Drauzin Kinler,
      We have a risk management and a safety officer that constantly review our policy and procedures for best practice procedures. They also work closely with Internal Affairs and our departmental attorney for any litigations that may arise and ensure we are performing the best practices under the color of the law and within guidelines. For the longevity of the department it sounds like keeping risk management as a priority should fall in line for everyone, such as your department.
      Dan

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    Jason Porter

    Risk management in this line of work is ongoing and ever changing. Every time something new happens that could possibly put us in the limelight, a new policy is added to the already over loaded policy that we have to adhere to. Most think of it as handcuffing ourselves, but it is there to protect not only us but the people we serve.

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      Clint Patterson

      There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for police officers when it comes to risk assessment. We must strive to look even closer at risk vs. reward and realize this imbalance is for our protection.

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        Jennifer Hodgman

        I agree with you Clint. Policing is becoming increasingly difficult and we must have our officers realize the risk vs. reward is their advantage.

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    Judith Estorge

    Risk management is a necessary element within law enforcement. In the presence of human error there has to be governing authority to make rules and regulations. Many of the policies created are due to the negligent actions of specific officers. The trend of 100+ officers killed in the line of duty has to be reduced which requires us taking significant steps.

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    Dan Wolff

    Risk management is something that is dealt with on a daily basis for law enforcement. How we deal with it and assessing the factors involved whether human, environmental, mechanical or external is inherent to the outcome of the risk we take. As the definition is defined, “a logical process of weighing the potential risk against the possible benefit of allowing these risks to stand uncontrolled” needs to be addressed by all personnel not just supervision/management. Every call as a patrol deputy answers, a risk assessment is considered. There have even been policies and procedures written for some risks we take. We all should be knowledgeable of these and ensure we train and prepare everyone to utilize sound risk management.

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      Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

      Dan,
      You are correct about risk management continually being done. I also agree that we need to get our young officers more involved and to better understand the risk factors.

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    Nancy Franklin

    Risk management is a critical component in ensuring organizational success and survival. The unpredictable nature of the law enforcement profession requires all members to be mindful of the inherent risks that come with this profession. Leaders just have a mindset for risk management to mitigate loss and work to enhance officer safety. Paying attention to risk and developing strategies and training programs to help mitigate risk will allow an agency to foster a culture that encourages all personnel to fully engage in risk management. Limiting risk improve officer safety, reduces the risk of injury of personnel and the public, and builds trust in the community.

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      David Ehrmann

      Agencies should also offer training on risk management; specifically, the outcomes of poor decisions. I feel that if officers can see the results of poor choices, not only how it affects the agency from how the public views them, but from a fiscal standpoint, they will be more inclined to consider risk. If they can see that litigation can lead to a monetary loss, which in turn will result in less possibility for increases in pay and equipment, they may think twice before they act.

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        Henry Dominguez

        I agree, I have heard and seen some officers go through actual litigation and it was a complete eye opener. I think when an officer can see what can happen on very poor decisions and the liability that comes with it will only help them to consider their decisions they are making.

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    Brian Johnson

    As we know, the inherent dangers involved in law enforcement requires the police leader to constantly evaluate multiple areas of risk. Those most prevalent risk factors have historically been associated with, UOF, arrests and detentions, search and seizure, driving, on/off duty conduct, and workplace issues. We must wear our "risk manager" hat while balancing the interest of the public, employees and department. If we are focused on our Missions, Vision and Core Values this will guide on providing excellent public service. This is leadership in action, providing guidance, direction, training, mentoring, and accountability. As leaders, we have a responsibility to set expectations, develop our people, and hold everyone accountable. If we are able to positively influence others, in turn, they will follow the rules, exceed expectations, and deliver outstanding results. The focus of training to develop and maintain competence will prove to be the most effective risk management program.

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      Laurie Mecum

      Brian, excellent way to explain it. I don't think everyone views it as having to wear their "own risk management hat". They consider it a department issue.

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    Clint Patterson

    In our line of work, risk assessment is paramount. We already know the inherent dangers that are involved in law enforcement are unavoidable. In our agency, the sheriff is driven by risk assessments and has instilled that in the agencies mindset. Without the mindset of risk assessments, the department would never have a budget because we would be continuously tied up in litigations. We must always keep in mind officer safety and the safety of the community. The risk versus the reward should motivate us to become more educated in stopping further issues.

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    Laurie Mecum

    We all know the risks that come with being in law enforcement. New situations can arise everyday and policies need to be adapted and look at on an ongoing basis. Ligations can cause a lot of undue hardship on departments. We need to make sure the officers are equipped with the best tools and knowledge out there to protect themselves, the public and the department.

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    Roanne Sampson

    Our agency is up to par with risk management. Our leaders are constantly developing strategies to reduce litigation. The safety of officers and the community are very important. I find that risk management is a part of our agency's culture.

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      Amanda Pertuis

      I agree that risk management is a part of our culture. It is something we have to keep up with and involve new personnel.

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    David Ehrmann

    Officer and citizen safety is paramount for a law enforcement agency. It is incumbent upon leaders to instill in their officers the risks of decisions made when performing specific tasks. Younger officers tend not to think about the big picture. They can’t see the preverbal “forest through the trees.” I can recall when I was a young officer; I became upset with my supervisors, who called me off of a pursuit, which, at the time, I felt was no risk. However, upon becoming a supervisor, I saw the big picture. I also remember a time when I called off a pursuit, and my officer was upset that I did. As law enforcement leaders, there are times where we need to protect our officers from themselves or the bad decisions they are, or were, about to make.

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      Christian Johnson

      I am guessing we have all been in those same shoes being upset by a supervisor's decision only to make the same decision years later to keep our personnel safe.

      You are correct though. When I was a Deputy, I thought nothing of putting myself in harm's way, even if it was unnecessary, but as supervisor, I do everything I can to avoid my people being in those situations.

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      Lance Leblanc

      David, I agree with you, when I was younger my agency's pursuit policy had very few limitations. That has changed over the years. I am sure like most my opinion on pursuits has changed a lot.

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      Lieutenant John Champagne

      I agree and think we have all been there as a young officer, but as we grew into supervisors, we realize the risk versus reward.

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    Jarod Primicerio

    My agency prioritizes risk management and my office continually assesses the risk and strategies on an annual basis. Utilizing the data extrapolated from statistical data, we consistently attempt to make necessary improvements or modifications to policy and protocol.

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    Christian Johnson

    Risk management is critical for the success of any Agency in regards to safety and community support.

    While avoiding litigation should of course be a goal for all of us, I prefer to focus on minimizing risks to our personnel and citizens in any and all ways we can. If we do that, then the litigation issue largely takes care of itself.

    Decision-based training is by far the best support toward this goal in my opinion.

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      dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

      Correct we need to minimize the risk to our personnel and citizens,and if we can accomplish that litigation should inherently go down.

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    Rocco Dominic, III

    Law enforcement is a dangerous environment. As a supervisor I am constantly using risk assessment with my team is dealing with combative arrestees, or offenders who want to fight. This risk assessment leads to the formulating of plan on how to deal with the individual, while minimizing the risk of injury to my deputies and the combative individual.

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      Donnie

      That’s a good idea. Having a risk assessment done that leads to a plan can minimize officer injury or may require a special response team to assist. Either way it will mitigate wasted resources and potential litigation.

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    Amanda Pertuis

    Each department and division within an agency have their own set of risks. It's important for leadership to consider all factors and work together to successfully perform risk management.

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    Brian Lewis

    My agency is continually evaluating policy and procedures always with the thought of mitigating risk for both our officers and our citizens. We do not spare any cost when it comes to training and equipment to provide our officers with the best tools to help them during critical situations.

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      McKinney

      Brian, I enjoyed your information, and we share things in common. I serve for an organization that ensures that our practices (policies) are being met with success not only for its members but for the community as well. My organization, like yours, also provides extensive training and equipment to ensure that we are successful in our day to day operations but also for when critical or high-risk situations present themselves.

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    Lance Leblanc

    All agencies should do what is necessary to limit litigation but not at the expense of the officer. Police management should continually review policy and procedures to limit liability. Training is a must in limiting litigation.

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    Donnie

    In the army we had a Risk Management Safety Officer. This task was typically assigned to a junior officer or senior non-commissioned officer. They were tasked with created a tangible risk management assessment that soldiers could hold and read. This was a risk management card that was tailored to the units specific capabilities, mission, and equipment it was assigned. Risk management briefings were required to daily duty and specific mission assignments. This could easily be implemented into any law enforcement agency. Our Special Response Team uses a risk management card along with a risk matrix.

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      jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      I too can remember the risk management safety officer within my military unit. Now in my Law Enforcement career, my department has designated an entire unit to coming up with risk management strategies. Strategies that will hopefully allow for reduced risk, litigation and physical injuries to both officers and the public. Risk management training has already been incorporated within some of our in-service training.

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    Lance Landry

    Risk management is essential in today’s world. Our department has a team of attorneys that regularly review strategies to reduce litigation. Policies and procedures, when adhered to, have resulted in favorable results in Court situations more often than not. However, when we have been wrong it cost the department financially.

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    Burke

    Risk manage is paramount in a law enforcement agency. We provide many tools to help mitigate these issues such as: training, general orders, and physical fitness. While you can take away all liability, you can manage it.

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      Marshall Carmouche

      Support from the top brass is essential too. Risks management, and more importantly risk reduction, are important in the law enforcement profession.

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    McKinney

    In the law enforcement profession, we are exposed to the inherent dangers that come along with this honorable profession. We try to minimize the liability and risk through various methods (Risk Management) such as basic law enforcement academies, field training programs, advanced training, continuous intradepartmental training, standard operating procedures and general orders, federal, state, and department legal advisement, and employee evaluation and assessment. We try to prepare our team members for all the uncertainties, dangers, and hazards that they are exposed too by continuously offering the above-mentioned performance opportunities. Knowing our tradecraft and how to minimize risk through our skillset will lead to a positive outcome with our community partners.

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      Major Stacy Fortenberry

      I have come to understand that a properly conducted AAR can be an invaluable learning tool also. This seems to solidify training in the mind.

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    jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    In our profession there is a great deal of risk and liability. The need for risk management is evident to me now more than it was as a young officer. I used to think that risk management was just a way to tie my hands behind my back and make my job harder. But with maturity, training and being promoted. I quickly recognized the need and value of risk management. Its funny how your outlook changes when you become responsible for risk management as a leader. But this training also reminded me that every officer should be involved in the risk management process.

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      Great point on how your frame of reference changes as you mature and also as your responsabilities increase. I believe it is important when conducting risk analysis that lower level leadership be involved to give credability to any new policies or guidelines that are the result. People are much more willing to accept change when they are involved in the planning.

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      cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

      I agree. I never thought about risk management as a young officer. I did not think about it until I became a supervisor and realized the importance of it and that I was responsible for it.

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    Lieutenant John Champagne

    Risk management is something that is needed in every agency and not fully understood by the rookie officer. I know personally speaking early in my career, there was a "Lust for the Bust," and I did not see the big picture of conducting a buy-bust or initiating a vehicle pursuit. Now I look at those activities through different lenses. As leaders, we must do everything we can to limit our risk and liability through training and education.

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    Risk management is vital for the future development of agencies. With tightening budgets and an increasingly letigious society agencies must demonstrate they are making all efforts to keep the public, employees, and the agency as safe as possible. This is complicated when human factors such as emotion must be accounted for in our risk management strategies. I believe the airline industry is looked at as a leader because it was forced to make dramatic safety evaluations because the decisions being considered directly affected the life of hundreds of people. When assessing risk vs reward, the weight of death has no equal. Increasingly in law enforcement the policies and decisions being made are the results of incidents where there is loss of life. When considering the major shifts in policy policy over the last 20 years, many are the direct result of loss of life by the action or inaction of law enforcement or public safety. Active Shooter response was forever changed by the images and lessons of Columbine High School. A series of minority and mental health deaths have led to reforms in CIT, De-escalation strategies, and research into behavioral studies such as implicit bias recognition. The continued strain of racial tension and the death of minorities as the result of at best questionable and sometimes blatant disregard of law enforcement will change the direction of law enforcement going forward. The recent death of George Floyd has the potential to be this generation's Rodney King. However the advent of social media and the outrage of all citizens can push this as a turning point in Risk Management where all agencies are forced to take a serious look at how it responds not only to use of force (response to resistance) but how it evaluates and response to officers who violate policies. I believe this could also lead to POST organizations and state legislatures looking at antiquated and over protective legislation that makes it extremely difficult to revoke POST certification of officer who get into trouble.

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      dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

      You stole the words out of my mouth. It seems that there is more to mitigate against than the operations that exist within our agency. It is a huge responsibility that sometimes halts our decisions and actions we wish to take. It also serves as a good time to suspect our frame of reference and think ahead of the potential causation of our actions.

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    Major Stacy Fortenberry

    For such a huge topic in modern law enforcement I was underwhelmed in this module. We have recently used an outside company to re do our entire policy and procedure. This company has a team of attorneys familiar with law enforcement and brought us into modern times with policy and procedures. All deputies can have them on an app and receive daily training bulletins with time pertinent topics. We also do more than double POST mandated training and still need more.

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    dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    We refer to actions described in this module as the "big L word". We are all aware that commanders always worry about liability, but we cannot ignore it. Keeping risk mitigation and liability in mind when making driving towards making decisions is frustrating, but necessary.

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      blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      Liability is why it is essential for quality training and policies. Your department does a great job with training and giving the officers scenario-based training.

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    cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    Risk management is important to any agency. Especially in the state of Louisiana where civil litigation is in desperate need of reform. Leadership, training and accountability reduce risk. calling off vehicle pursuits for non-violent offenses is also a way to reduce liability to agencies. As we become supervisors in our respective agencies we realize the importance of risk management. Until I became a supervisor I never thought about risk management.

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      michael-beck@lpso.net

      I think all of us had that same change in attitude when we became supervisors. We went from "this policy is stupid" to "you must be ignorant to ignore a policy which helps to protect you." That goes right along with Lt. Col. Grossman's thought of older officers still yearn for and become involved in the fight, we let the younger officers bring it to us.

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      dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      Craig, this is so true about the state we live in need of a reform regarding civil litigation. I too was unaware of the about of money we shell out, as well as the number of lawsuits, most frivolous, that we still have to defend ourselves from until recently. Opens up your eyes to a whole new aspect of a function of the agency.

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        dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

        You are correct, Derek. The amount of money we have to pay out just in the instances of traffic crashes is unreal. Risk management is essential, I see that now. As a young officer, I never gave it a second thought. But now, being in a supervisory position, I consider risk management a lot more.

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          Chasity Arwood

          This is the same with my department..... Traffic crashes are a giant expense to the department with the loss of police units and civil litigation.

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          Kevin Balser

          Traffic crashes are certainly a problem within my agency as well. Probably the #1 lawsuit generator.

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      clouatre_kj@jpso.com

      law suits are neverending for all departments. It wasn't until I started attending commaders meetings did I know the actual numbers paid out just fro car wrecks alone. I small raise could easily be given out if this could cease or at least slow down. This is what I teach now, we are effecting their own salaries sometimes.

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    michael-beck@lpso.net

    Dr. Harrington hit the nail on the head when she stated, “policing in an inherently dangerous occupation.” These words were never truer than the present and will continue to grow with the future. Not only am I speaking of the risks we as police professionals place on ourselves, such as assaults, shootings, traffic crashes, etc; also those of the men and women we lead. As a young officer some of the policies we had in the agency seemed very arbitrary, unwanted, or unneeded. It is only when you are placed in charge of someone, and their life depends on you making certain you understand the hazards and risks and how to mitigate them, that you begin to really appreciate some of the risk management techniques of your individual agencies.

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    ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    Risk management is huge part of the law enforcement profession. Policies and procedure must be constantly reviewed and adjusted for the safety of the officers and the public. All officers must stay up to date with risk management policies and practice them to assist them in effective decision making.

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      cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

      The policies in place for risk management are important for the agency and the officers. It not only protects the agency, it is there for officers to make sure the job is done correctly.

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    chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    In module 7, knowing that leaders must engage in effective risk management is very important. As law enforcement officers the agency as a whole will always have to deal with risk management issues.

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    blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    Risk management will always be a massive concern in law enforcement. I believe it starts with hiring quality people with excellent leader characteristics. It is essential to also provide the officers with the training and right tools necessary to perform their job duties. There will always be a risk, but we can minimize the risk with the proper training.

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    dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    Our agency is always taking steps to reduce risk and liability. This in my opinion has always been a top priority, especially since our sheriff is an attorney. We also took a proactive approach by hiring a retired attorney, who was also a police officer prior to becoming an attorney and made him our in house counsel. I know that I have called him for advice on many occasions to get his expert opinion on matters and it makes life so much easier knowing that he's just a phone call away.

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      guttuso_fa@jpso.com

      My department is very similar in respect to our Sheriff being an attorney (and former deputy). Our in house attorney is also a former police officer. Speaking with them often in my position, you can tell that risk management is always a top priority in their decision making.

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      cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      Derek, I agree that we take many steps to reduce risk and liability, including having In-house counsel.

      We start with the hiring process to ensure we are getting a good pool of applicants. We don't just want warm bodies in positions, we want good people in positions who want to do the right thing. We want people with integrity who make good decisions and practice good habits.

      We implement polices and practices to increase the safety of our personnel. Our officers can't help the community if they never make it to the call. We take the lessons learned from our mistakes, others and societal changes to learn how to improve our current practices.

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        Adam Gonzalez

        I appreciated what you shared. My agency does some of what you mention above. Like you, I believe that starting with the applicant is the beginning part of ensuring that we are gaining from the hiring process, and not the other way around. In-house counsel is another wonderful means to confirm best and safest practices are utilized whenever possible. We have a robust Sheriff's Office Citizen Advisory Boards (C.A.B.) made up of community leaders and members to review and implement new ideas and approaches to serving the public as best and effective we can.

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        Brent Olson

        Agreed! Every time we hire, my chief uses the phrase "hire for character train for skill." He doesn't care about what skills a person comes to us with if they are not of a high character. We can train you new skills to be successful, however we can not train you to be a better or different person.

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    dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    As a young officer, I never thought about risk management. Now, as a supervisor, I think about it all the time. In a leadership role, we have to think of not only the safety of our officers but the safety of the suspect and the public.

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      Unfortunately, individuals don't think about risk management until they are put in a leadership role. That is why risk management needs to be part of the organizational culture. Then when changes are made, there will be an understanding of the need.

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      mtroscla@tulane.edu

      The closer to the top, the more people under you that you have to be concerned with. Sadly it can be source of stress wen you have to worry about how the actions of subordinates can adversely affect you if not properly mitigated.

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    Chasity Arwood

    Polices and procedures must be reviewed regularly by command staff in order to ensure that both offices and the public are protected. Also, departments must properly train officers in order to minimize civil liability.

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      anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree to have a full understanding of policies and procedures leaders are more aware and can address any safety concerns.

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      sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

      Our briefings several times a year are read out sections by section every day. to bring up to speed new recruits and the lesser known policies, also policies often changes and the new changes are needed to be aware of.

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    cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    Risk management is extremely important not only for the safety of the officers but also for the public and the suspects that officers deal with. Proper training to minimize injuries to both the officer and the suspect minimize the risk to all parties involved.

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      wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

      I agree, law enforcement agencies must continue to improve the safety margins, not only for law enforcement officers but also for the community

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    guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    I never really thought of the things discussed in this module as "risk management", but basically the entire SOP of my department and I'm sure every other departments SOP is a risk management manual. Risk management should be stressed because it reduces litigation which takes money out of budget that could be better used in the department. Most importantly it can reduce officer/citizen injury or death.

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      Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      I agree that most agency's SOP manuals are great at promoting risk management, the trick is to implement a system to ensure that officers are continually reviewing and aware of what the policy, procedure, and expectations are.

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        mmoscona@floodauthority.org

        I agree, but it is up to us as leaders to stress and engage our officers from day one. The message is clear, that at the end of the day we all go home to our families safe.

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        to go along with Dustin's comments about monitoring the policy manual, our agency has a system and every time a policy is reviewed it changes colors on the database. This allows supervisors to check on their subordinates knowledge of the policy. Also fair and sound application of the policy is a must to help minimize department risks.

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    As we look at Risk Management, it really starts off with the recruit or new hire employee. It starts with the background investigator doing his due diligence to make sure that the employee is not a risky hire. The hiring of bad employees makes for liability later on down the road.

    In the school now more than ever, my job has changed from a Police Officer to more of a risk manager. My job entails more of mitigating the threats or disasters that we may face.

    The one point I always ask when I make a plan, “is it worth the risk.” Of not having a plan.

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      steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

      Also, the importance of training in small groups for understanding and buy in. I see many agencies do a once and done quick training or email on policy and it is not effective.

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    anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    By educating all employees is vital. With this understanding, agencies can create a safer work environment, where employees don't have to fear any hazards that can interfere with their work duties.

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    cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    Managing hazards and risks is an on-going process in the arena of public safety. As an agency, we are continuously learning and striving to implement ways to better protect our personnel, agency, and the community we serve. It is our responsibility as leaders to put the interest of our people and community first, even when they may initially resist change or deny a need for change.

    Most recently, our agency has implemented some practices to foster officer safety and mitigate various risks. We have installed GPS devices in most units to monitor and encourage safe driving practices and reduce the risk of office involved crashes. We have set limits on the amount of hours personnel can consecutively work to help combat fatigue. We have created and implemented situational awareness training classes for both our officers and the community.

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    Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    Risk management is vital to the success of any agency if we are not actively promoting safety in all aspects of our duties we risk the liability issues that are all too often present. With the current atmosphere in law enforcement, we cannot afford to put our officers or the public at any undue risk. By creating a culture in our agencies that embrace risk management we can ensure that everyone is safely being treated and minimize the chances of injuries or death.

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      Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

      I agree, I address this with my subordinates every day. I discuss what we are here for in corrections and the responsibilities we have.

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    mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    It has become more evident now more than ever that merely ending roll call with the old standard from "Hill Street Blues" " HEY BE CAREFUL OUT THERE" is no longer sufficient. We must continuously develop a culture within our agencies that promotes safety from vehicle operations to combat and all points in between. COVID-19 is a prime example of the need to promote risk management policies.

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    mtroscla@tulane.edu

    Risk and liability mitigation in my Department , in my opinion have been best addressed by our decision to seek CALEA accreditation. So long as we abide by our policies we can be confident that we are acting in best practice and in best faith.

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    steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    Very interesting to learn about teaching or involving risk management in small groups. I enjoy the study of risk management and looking at other agencies for ways of to minimized risks and improve performance. Many time in the past I have sought out others policy and shared ours with other agencies that were in development stages. Agencies should also train on their policies and procedures with testing. An organization has a responsibility to make sure that the member understand the training and policy/procedures given to them, not just an acknowledgement that they were received.

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    sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    More real life training is needed in attempt to aid in risk management. Our agency has adopted a form of juijitsu for when its times to go hands on, in an attempt to reduce injuries to deputies and the subject involved. its fairly new training and i think needs to be held more often.

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      Mitchell Gahler

      Use of force is a big topic now days when it comes to our profession. If there are ways to help mitigate liability when dealing with use of force applications, I think it's great that your agency has adopted new ways with hands on situations.

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    Risk management is one of those areas that we do not like to talk about but it is crucial to our survival. We are constantly reminded to mitigate risks to the officer and the public. The presenter brought up vehicle pursuit and that is a constant source of risk and litigation. As law enforcement leaders, we must take this to heart and take steps ourselves, because if we don't, entities that do not understand the job will.

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    This module could not be better suited for the modern policing world and the inherent risks we face both known and unknown. Being able to properly train personnel and leaders to properly manage risk and be agents for avoiding unnecessary risk is important. Safety for the LEO and people we serve is necessary to be successful.

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      Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      I agree, when we properly train our officers and explain the reasoning for utilizing risk management it assists with lowering liability.

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    clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    I seem to have the same response in mind as others here. When younger, you don't consider the risk until you mature and get in supervisory role. Now more than ever, being in charge of a numerous people, I see the car wrecks, damage to property reports, injury reports, etc., and realize that one of our biggest expenses are derived from law suits and payouts. Risk management is a priority within our department. Always sending people to training, online and in classrooms, due to the high risk of our jobs. Law enforcement has evolved because of each departments risk management, usually due to a fatality or injury. Our weapons have changed over the years so we don't have to always go lethal, hence the pepper spray, tazers, etc.

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    dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    Read the post of other it almost unanimous that we did not start thinking about risk management/litigation until we ventured into our supervisory roles. we need to make an effort to see that the younger personnel not yet in supervisory roles understand risk management and what the outcome can be for the personnel and organization. If we can get people to think more on these lines before they are in supervisory roles we can possible reduce the amount of litigation.

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    Lt. Mark Lyons

    Risk management is a vital part of every law enforcement organization. They serve the agency and community's best interests by mitigating the loss of tax dollars to pay off law suits and other unnecessary litigious claims.

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    Risk management is essential for all law enforcement agencies. Agencies must train their employees properly and have policies and procedures that are fairly applied across the board. Adequate training of employees is also another way agencies can reduce liability.

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      Royce Starring

      I agree it is essential law enforcement. I also agree that training employees will reduce liability.

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    Royce Starring

    Risk Management is necessary in law enforcement to continue to access, observe, and evaluate to minimize the liability in the agency.

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    Adam Gonzalez

    Short but sweet, this module training is more significant today than before. Even just five months ago, I would not have imagined how quickly things can change, on a country-wide stage no less, with regards to law enforcement, our reputation, and demands for change. This training reminds us of the essential need for continual and progressively effective public safety training and response to the public of which we serve. This training is vital! No question, we as professionals need to be dialed into our communities and their needs, questions, concerns, and expectations!!

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    wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    Most law enforcement agencies, including my organizations, already apply risk management in their operations to limit their personnel and the public from exposure to common risks

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    Henry Dominguez

    This module really hits it quickly on the emphasis of proper training to help reduce the risk of some liability. Risk management plays a vital role in doing that, where it can help an agency continue to evolve with the times instead of staying stagnant and open the department and the city to more unnecessary liability claims.

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      Frank Acuna

      Great point Hank. Risk management is a vital role all leaders within the organization should focus on, from the fundamentals of training to ensuring personnel are not exposing themselves or the city to unnecessary liability.

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    Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    Risk management will always be a major concern in law enforcement. As a supervisor, we must inform the younger subordinates under our command about the risk of litigations that sits in the shadows. Educating our personnel to stay vigilant is an important factor. By doing this we can reduce or eliminate the increasingly possibilities of litigation in our agency.

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      Joseph Flavin

      Well said. Educating personnel to stay vigilant is critically important. Having discussions with subordinates about those litigation risks will help in their decision making in the field.

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    Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    Risk management is vital aspect of law enforcement. My sheriff is an attorney, so is risk management has always a priority at our agency. I believe we need to get our young deputies more involved with risk management and let them see the big picture. Education and proper training will help to reduce litigation.

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      Richie, I agree, It does help we have an attorney as Sheriff for the department. There is a lot of consideration undertaken when they implement programs to better our response while simultaneously reducing our risks.

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    Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    Risk management is a primary concern for every agency especially in the correctional field of law enforcement. I explain the current statistics of litigation in corrections with the leaders under my command, that way they understand the importance of proper training and decision making by supervision. Always stay aware of risks and assess all risks when dealing with offenders in incidents.

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    Risk management is always a concern, especially in our field where there are often unseen or unanticipated dangers lurking in every call for service. Our area contains many swamps and waterways along with open ditches for drainage. Add to that a very young batch of deputies and these things can spell disaster. Injuries to knees, and limbs while running through mushy terrain or jumping ditches in a common event. We have instituted an on-site gym and encourage physical fitness for all staff. We have insurance policies on assigned equipment to help off-set the cost of damage or loss. I have found our agency to be forward leaning when dealing with both risk and hazards associated with our jobs.

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      James Schueller

      It's good to hear that you are both planning for but also being realistic in understanding the hazards that go with this profession. So many factors to consider and try to plan for, knowing that there are always going to be dangers of the job we can't possibly anticipate, We often must deal with things as they come- it's always going to be a big part of what we do.

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    Lt. Marlon J Shuff

    Risk is an inevitable part of police work; unfavorable outcomes will undoubtedly occur. As leaders, we are tasked with minimizing risk by identifying areas that present the most risk to the agency and then providing our officers with sound policy and training.

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      In short comment, I agree that as leaders we need to continue to adapt training and policies. We also need to conduct a training risk mitigation plan to determine those areas within the department that need to be fixed and assessed, areas that pose the most risk factors to our officers.

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    Joseph Flavin

    I agree with the use of risk management assessments however, the law enforcement profession is inherently dangerous and we cannot always control the outcomes. What we must do is put our people in the best position possible in order to produce those favorable outcomes.

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    The video in this module was very hard to follow. It was read to fast nearly impossible to keep up with taking notes. I did not gain much from it. Suggestions for future classes would be to slow the module down and add bullet points or something of that nature. Very confusing.

    In general from my own perspective. In law enforcement and the day to day activities and situations we face, as officers, we are constantly assessing risk to benefit standards. In our agency we continually do debriefs of situations so we understand what went well and what didn't work so well. We then try to gear future training towards the things we learned from those debriefs and constantly evolve our training. We also continually do assessments of how we can do things better and try to perceive situations we may find ourselves in so we can train to overcome future obstacles. We try to make our training extremely difficult so that when it comes to real world situations, those situations seem easy because we have trained for harder scenarios.

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    James Schueller

    It's an important topic to be sure, and I think we as a profession are already doing as much risk management as we can in our everyday duties and in developing policies and procedures for the future. Unfortunately, ours is a job where hazards and risk (both defined in this lecture) are always present, and we are often left responding to both without any planning, forewarning, or preparation. We do the best we can, but the unknown is a big part of our job. Our Administration and also Human Resources can only do so much compared to what the expectations of our job are.

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    Eduardo Palomares

    Liability and risk management are essential duties of leaders and supervisors in police organizations. We can all relate to those calls for service when something didn’t seem quite right and we used the “CYA” protocol. The vast majority of police work is dealing with the uncertain ever changing situations. Policies are being constantly updated, altered or modified. As leaders we have to take the time to review and keep abreast of the changes. One of the biggest aspects of liability and/or risk management for supervisors is a use of force gone wrong or an ignored EEO complaint. It is our duty to be proactive in liability and risk management by guiding, mentoring and coaching our personnel.

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      Ryan Lodermeier

      I agree, I like the fact that you mentioned use of force as being a big liability risk as it relates to risk management. Being a night shift sergeant I usually supervise officers who are very new. Fortunately they are open to training and discussions about improvement of our performance. These discussions usually revolve around decision making and policy. Whether they are aware of it or not they are receiving valuable information that can hopefully help them avoid future liability issues.

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    Mitchell Gahler

    Risk management is very important in law enforcement, as fatigue and decision making is compromised if we fail to take the necessary precautions. Vigilance and complacency become apparent when we fail to get enough rest, or when we are expected to work long grueling hours. Training is also essential to stay fine-tuned of the ever-changing environment of law enforcement to avoid unnecessary risks of being injured and officer safety. Risk management and training creates a safer work environment, which could help eliminate various risks of our day to day duties.

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    Samantha Reps

    Risk management is an area of constant concern. With the amount of new staff that we see come through the doors of the agency we need to stay on top of this. We do have things in place to protect staff and the organization in general but we need to keep up on staff to make sure they are compliant. We have the body worn devices in our agency which help a lot and following up after situations will always help us be better.

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      Chad Blanchette

      Agreed. If you look at the tasks that we have to do each month to make sure there is compliance, it certainly seems ridiculous on the surface. But if you look at it closer, it is actually protecting the officer.

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    Frank Acuna

    Risk management is an innate ability taught to each law enforcement officer at its fundamental level in the police academy. Officers are taught tactics that mitigate risk during building searches, person searches and traffic stops. It is important to build upon these basics to include an understanding of human, environmental, mechanical, and external factors associated with the risks encountered every day in law enforcement. As leaders, we can choose to manage risk, educate our personnel on these risk factors and put policies and practices in place to mitigate or eliminate risk. The purpose of risk management is to ensure the safety and security of our personnel, protect our assets, both financial and human, and reduce liability.

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      Timothy Sandlin

      Good points. Fundamentally we as leaders must create the culture where officers integrate risk management concepts into everyday decisions. They must consider all of the factors and address hazards and risk within their decisions.

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    Ryan Lodermeier

    As our profession and society is in a constant state of change the way in which we mitigate risk must also but continuously evaluated and re-evaluated. These evaluation cycles will inevitably lead to policy and tactic changes that officers must acknowledge and learn. Yes this continuous change can be frustrating for some but I have found that reminding officers of the reason for this change can often help them acknowledge that we are not changing just for the sake of changing, we are adapting and modifying the way we do things to assist us in doing our jobs safer and reducing liability.

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      Kelly Lee

      Agreed and the other thing we as organizations can do to reduce liability is to make sure they are equipped to handle situations with different tools. Our department has just recently spent a lot of money on obtaining several different less lethal options to be deployed on the streets. Without these options many situations turn into a deadly force situation that most likely could be handled in a different manner.

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      Ryan Manguson

      Agreed. Sometimes taking the time to explain the why is very important so people understand the need for change. That we are not just changing for the sake of change.

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    Chad Blanchette

    Our previous Chief told new supervisors the following: "As a supervisor, you have the responsibility to protect your people physically, emotionally and financially." Seems spot on with risk management.

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      Christopher Lowrie

      Yes very spot on Chad. Physically, emotionally and financially tie in directly with the components listed by Dr. Harrington. Risk management is the right thing to do to keep people from harming themselves or others and a department obligation.

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      Sgt. Shawn Wilson

      Couldn't agree more. As leaders our job is to protect our personnel. We conduct risk assessment decisions everyday even for the most basic decision. From the time a shift checks on to the time they check off, some type of risk assessment is being conducted at every level from dispatch to the roller.

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    Kyle Turner

    Risk management is an investment made in the department who's dividends are the safety and security of the employees and the public. Although changes to department operations are often resisted - I can remember when officers did not want digital recorders - the eventual paradigm shift often results in people embracing the change and improvement in overall operations.

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      Durand Ackman

      I like your analogy of risk management being an investment. That's a great way to think of it. I also can recall several times staff resist new policy, procedures, or technology until they realize there is a reason for the change.

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    Kelly Lee

    Certainly a topic that needs to be addressed in the world we live in today. Risk management has to be at the front of an organizations daily operations. As the module stated it consumes what we do everyday we come to work whether it be placing handcuffs on a suspect or getting in a pursuit with a stolen vehicle. In order to accomplish this we need to make sure that we control as many human factors as we can. We need to be sure that staff is not only mentally prepared but also physically and that everyone is given the tools they need to do their job correctly. One big thing our department has done to facilitate this is we have spent a large amount of money on multiple different less lethal options and getting them deployed out onto patrol in order to effectively handle situations.

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    Ryan Manguson

    Risk management is a key part of supervision. It is risk management for all parties involved from the department, city, all the way to the officer on the street. Sometime officers don't always appreciate "risk management" as they see it as impeding the way conduct business. Taking the time to explain the why risk management skills, tool, policies, and procedure are put in place. Goes along way to get the buy in from the officers. Explaining how a lot of risk management is done for the physical, financial, and mental wellbeing of the officer is important.

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      Paul Gronholz

      It's is critically important. We ask our officers to explain why to the people they contact in the community. We as leaders need to be able to explain the why to officers as well. They expect and deserve that we explain our decisions to them.

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    Paul Gronholz

    We as leaders and supervisor must always be able to be mindful of the risks associated with the duties and tasks that officers are required to perform. There are times when officers will become frustrated after one of us tell them to terminate a pursuit, or that we won't be breaking down a door for a warrant suspect that we know is inside. We should then explain to officers that the risks associated are simply not worth someone getting hurt over. I agree with Dr Harrington's point that increased risk management and developing safer ways to accomplish task goes towards building trust and legitimacy within our communities.

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      Gregory Hutchins

      As stated within the lecture and through various other sources of risk management training, one will always notice the common theme, the culture of the organization must change to support the change required to assess better and manage risk. Too often, in this profession, executives fixate on budgetary issues, placing importance on tools over that of who carries them, the officers. All within the profession have experienced these phenomena when issued the worst car in the fleet. The adage provided is to use it until the new ones can be issued. One questions the organization's concern for the officer when there is this change. Retiring vehicles due to the accumulation of many mechanical problems, yet due to a shortage, making it ok for an extended period, sends a different message.

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    Durand Ackman

    Risk management is an essential piece of being a leader. We always need to weigh out risk vs reward, not only for ourselves but for our team/division as well as the agency. It is very important to keep newer staff in mind when doing this as they are most likely not accustomed to the degree of risk management we need to do in a law enforcement career.

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    understanding the factors that present risk is key to risk management. It is imperative to engage all individuals within an agency in the development of risk management so as to secure an environment that mitigates all present risk and damages.

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      Maja Donohue

      I think that an ongoing organization-wide conversation about risk management can help in this respect. Identifying potential risk factors and developing plans to mitigate them before they happen is critical. Preparing people mentally for a high risk situation and allowing them to process the information in a safe setting will prompt questions and will give leaders an opportunity to explain the ‘why’ in a more constructive way.

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    Major Willie Stewart

    What the rapidly changing culture of policing, leaders and departments must stay on top of policies, procedures, training and risk management. Police leaders must alway identify what and who are risk factors for officers. Polices are constantly changing. One that many law enforcement agencies are having to address is use of force. It’s be coming a very sensitive topic for law enforcement. It’s also one that can quickly constitute life and death for police officers. I think the biggest risk factor now is how much is to much and when is it justified.

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      I totally agree. It's a constant balancing act. The need to effectively do our jobs vs the safety of those involved or affected. I am constantly amazed at how often we get it right. It is a testament to the ingenuity, intelligence, and professionalism of the people who protect and serve their communities.

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    Timothy Sandlin

    The law enforcement profession comes with inherent risk. However, there are many things we can do as individual officers and on the part of agencies to create ways to mitigate a large portion of risks involved in our daily job. Obviously, there is no way to mitigate your way out of all risk. However, if we can integrate the concepts of risk management throughout our agency and create the culture of risk management into everyday decision making it will make significant impacts on making us safer.

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    Risk management is a constant revolving door that is an important element in garnering a balance or safety for the officer and public. There are many factors to consider from types of equipment, maintenance of equipment to individual health and wellness. No two people are alike and trying to establish a standard can be complicated. When in doubt and feasible, cater to the lowest common denominator. We should always consider the risk versus the reward. An example is when I first started working narcotic and we would punch a door on a warrant. Everyone would rush to save the dope from being destroyed. When you asked the investigators if any would kill someone to save a piece of dope, the light would come on. Slow down and take every safety measure possible, no piece of dope was worth someone dying over. Risk v. Reward. There are already plenty of measures in place to protect each other; most of it is just needs to be monitored, evaluated and applied.

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    Risk management is are where law enforcement has made vast improvements since I started 20 years ago. If anything, civil liability and the political/social environment have forced the changes. I constantly tell me deputies to ask the question "why?" "Why" are we forcing entry to the house. "Why" are we pursuing this subject. The "why" is important and it leads to the next question, "Is it worth it?" I will ask deputies, "If some one gets hurt or killed, was it worth it?" or "are we legally required to act?" If the answers are "yes", then what can we do to mitigate and/or control the risk? Is there another way to achieve a positive outcome that is safer?

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      Jed really does a good job of explaining the Risk Management process in very easy to understand terms. When comparing the why vs. need, I look at it from a low frequency/ high risk call perspective. For example, my agency does not regularly respond to active shooter situations (low frequency) but if we do, that is a high risk scenario. The risks associated with this type of call need to be identified and a remediation plan (training, supervision, equipment etc.) has to be implemented in preparation for the inevitable. Doing this prior to an active shooter incident will not eliminate all the risks associated with a call of this type but it will increase the odds that an officer or community member will survive.

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      I like your methodology Jed, the W questions. Sadly until an officer steps into your shoes, many don't appreciate the liability we assume as leaders of our organizations. It's more than just dollars and cents too. Human lives, property, careers, etc. are on the line every day. We should get a thank you, at times, from our officers because maybe, just maybe, we prevented a life-changing outcome to something they didn't understand at the time.

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    Nicole Oakes

    I believe that from the first day we are taught about risk factors for ourselves, our team members, our department and our community. But not until you get into a leadership role do most people understand the true concept of risk management and how it plays such a large role in our lives. I think we should teach the system approach to our new officers: Establish that no single thing can change without influencing every part of the system to which it belongs; change and any part of the system impacts every other part.

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    Christopher Lowrie

    Risk management is where visionary leaders need to shine. Supervisors need to try and keep their coworkers safe. Protecting officers physical, mental, and financial well being is key. Leaders can use training, equipment, supervision, and policy to help protect officers.

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      Thomas Martin

      I could not have said it better Christopher. Visionary leaders are the ones who will see the problem, make real solutions, and execute procedures to properly manage risks. We must ensure the wellbeing of our staff, as it safeguards the future of our department.

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    Robert Schei

    Ensuring that our staff are providing the best tools and resources to complete there tasks effectively should be our first priority. But there are so many other risks that we have that need to be considered to be effective leaders.

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    Risk management is something that is used frequently in law enforcement and in an public safety position. Unfortunately, to go along with risk management, we have to have many policies and procedures put in place for everyone to follow. As employees in an organization, it is our job to make sure we are clear on them and follow them. It is great to have them, however with the frequently changing line of work that we deal with every day, those policies and procedures may need to change as well. I work in a smaller agency, and I often see policies and procedures be set and then they are not updated for several years. I think overall we haven't became better at relooking at them. However, a lot of the time they only get looked at one a situation occurs with a call or an employee and they need to be changed because of something that happened. Not only should they be re-evaluated on a regular basis, but is important for leadership to make sure employees are trained on them and that everything makes sense. In an intense situation, you often don't have time to go look up a policy before you make a decision on what is best to do.

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    Risk management is a critical leadership function. Many agencies already do some form of risk mitigation through the development of polices and procedures. I first learned about risk management in the Army. The Army has a specific risk mitigation process. The focus is to reduce the chance of something happening and mitigating its potential adverse effects if it does happen. One thing was noticeably absent from the presentation; that you can employ every mitigation effort possible but you can never totally eliminate the hazard. For example, you can mandate the wear of body armor, teach officers how to position themselves on a call, and teach tactical first aid... all of these things are mitigations techniques, they do not reduce the likely hood of being shot while on duty. That said, I do agree with Harrington that critical decision making is the key to risk avoidance. Furthermore, I concur with Harrington's assessment that total risk management will be a paradigm shift for many traditional police organizations. Law enforcement professionals at every level of an organization have to have ownership of the risk management process for it to be truly effective.

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      Well stated David. There is no such thing as zero risks in anything. When we walk out the door in the morning our risk adventure starts whether or not you're a law enforcement officer. Good policies, procedures, communication, and modeling help "reduce" risk but never eliminate it completely. A good training regiment is also key to lowering the risk to officers.

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    Risk management and law enforcement go hand in hand (fortunately or unfortunately). Everything we do and our officers do subject us and the office to risk and liability. The hard thing for some to understand is that prohibiting or limiting behavior isn't "fun hating" it's good management against risk. In the highly litigious world, we live in coupled with anti-law enforcement rhetoric, requires that the modern law enforcement leader hone the risk/reward aspects of daily activity within the walls of the organization. Gordon Graham, a renowned circuit lecturer/speaker, preaches relentlessly on risk management. If you're not familiar with him, a simple YouTube search will provide some insight. High risk, low-frequency events are problems "lying in wait."

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      Andy Opperman

      I agree Andy and sometimes that's a more difficult philosophy to explain to the new generations coming in to law enforcement. We all went through that as young officers. One thing I think current leaderships are much better at but yet still have room for improvement is explaining to their people why they did what they did. Why they change a certain policy or procedure and than backing it up with facts. Constant communication.

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    Maja Donohue

    Risk management is all about safety—safety for the community, the officers, and the agency. Policies and procedures are an important component of risk management because they focus on prevention and mitigation. But risk is an evolving threat and even the best policies and procedures are only as good as they are applicable to a particular situation. Not to mention, there is no way to adequately forecast every possible scenario and meticulously document our best response. This is why I like to say that policy and procedure is a living, breathing document, and something that should be reviewed and updated frequently. Effective leaders can plan and prepare for high risk situations, but they must pay close attention to current circumstances, keep their eyes on the horizon to anticipate change, and have frequent discussions with staff about their roles and responsibilities. After all, we all want employees who can think critically and who can problem solve on their own by referring to policy and procedure AND common sense. The right answer may not always be to follow a certain rule, but officers must be able to articulate that they considered every aspect of the rule, clearly and adequately explain why it does not apply to a situation, and consider all other options before presenting a viable and pragmatic alternative.

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    Recently our legislature made some significant changes to the use of force in our state. This was done on a very short notice to agencies through out the state. It is the responsibility of the leadership in our agencies to access the risk of rushing our offices/deputies through training to make sure that they understand and can implement the new use of force statutes in a manner that they wont find themselves or put our agency in litigation.

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      Brad Strouf

      Training is such a crucial piece of risk management. Especially with the current climate of law enforcement. I'm relieved to hear that your agency is taking the proper steps to implement the training to correspond with the changes.

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      Eric Sathers

      This has been a huge issue since it came about. My agency as well was forced to find a training solution that met the requirements of properly training staff to understand and apply these new laws and policies. This has been a massive risk management undertaking that is still ongoing.

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    Jennifer Hodgman

    This module reminds us that risk management is very important in law enforcement. Risk management coupled with training creates a safer worker environment which can assist with eliminating various risks of our day to day duties. I feel this is an area where policing has made great strides. We have forced officers to slow down, examine not only if we can, use force, should we and what is the governmental interest in the incident.

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      Matthew Menard

      I agree, however we must also balance that slow down with safety. There have been many examples of officers across the country who are too slow to take action because of the fear of risk and end up getting hurt of killed.

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    Matthew Menard

    Law enforcement has always come with a degree of risk, however today risk management has become even more of a necessity than ever before. Not only is there a higher expectation of law enforcement agencies from the public, but the growing criticism and widespread sharing of information via social media platforms places an even higher burden on organizations to mitigate risk. It seems one of the best ways to mitigate this risk is by training staff to high levels and providing them with the best equipment available to perform their duties.

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      Sergeant Michael Prachel

      I could not agree more. It all comes down to training, training, and training. As leaders we need to constantly seek out training for our officers. Whether internally or externally, training only enhances skills and builds new ones. I have taught DAAT at our department about ten years now. Every year we try to raise the bar when it comes to use of force scenarios and decision making. I truly believes this helps officers on the street. With today’s environment, we need every advantage we can get.

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      Ronald Smith

      Law enforcement is monitored by OSHA, but they don't interfere with the job. Sea World had a trainer killed by a whale and OSHA took notice. Sea World halted killer whale training because of the risk. Imagine if OSHA involved their assessment tool in traffic stops, police officers would be forbidden from stopping cars. Our training has to be viable and valuable to serve the citizens and keep everyone safe, but we don't know what we don' know as we approach a vehicle or person.

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      Zach Roberts

      Matthew,
      Law enforcement does absolutely come with a degree of risk. I do believe that over the years we have made strides to minimize risks. Recently with the riots and protests we have seen risk climb as we look for different ways to combat these issues. Training and identifying issues within your staff is a huge way to decrease risks. Making sure your staff understand the risk versus reward is another way. Making sure they are constantly asking themselves why. Why am I doing this?

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    Andy Opperman

    Risk management is an extremely important aspect of officer and community safety, but it cannot just focus on one area. This must be an all-encompassing process of constant training, effective policy and procedure, decision making and constant evaluation of the tools officers use to protect themselves and the community. These processes cannot be taken lightly and should be based on the most current science and statistical data to improve the community and the officer’s wellbeing. When new tools and procedures are introduced as leader’s we must push to train these processes extensively. Undoubtedly, we will find pessimists in our agency that do not like change. I think it is easier to improve buy in when we base our decisions on the factors above. We cannot let this deter us from risk management decisions that are well rounded.

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    Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    Policies and procedures are guidelines that we will all be held accountable for within our respective agencies, but at the same time any use of force is based off of Graham v Connor. The best example I can use is the evolution of police pursuits both on foot and vehicle. Over the past 20 years there has been a paradigm shift in what is allowed. This is due in my belief to a better understanding of risk management. When our officers have a thorough understanding of the Graham principles as outlined in the Supreme Court case then we as leaders cannot second guess their actions if they were within the law. We can learn from their actions and develop more streamlined and tailored polices that will further mitigate risk.

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    Brad Strouf

    We are fortunate to have a collaborative relationship with the city's HR department and to that end, we work with the HR team on nearly a daily basis to ensure our risk management plans and processes are in place and kept current. There is no way to emphasize enough how critical a proper risk management team and plan are in law enforcement.

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    Marshall Carmouche

    The law enforcement professional will always, unfortunately, have risks due to the nature of the job. Our main objective is for us and our coworkers to go home safe at the end of a shift. Professionalism, fairness, compassion, and good judgment will help us in risk management. Support from upper management is essential to managing some of the risks associated with the profession.

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    Steve Mahoney

    AS a supervisor we need to constantly be aware of risk management. This is something that could cost a municipality millions or worse the loss of a life. Most officers are Type A personalities that want to run to the danger and help. We need to make sure they are not doing it foolishly. As hared as it is to do we have to be willing at times to pull back and reassess if it is really worth it

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    Sergeant Michael Prachel

    The topic of risk management may be one of these subjects we hate to hear or talk about. However, it’s a very real and important part of our duties, especially those in leadership positions. Policies and procedures will regulate us how we do our job. But these human, environmental, mechanical, and external factors then come into play, as well. The “reasonableness” standard should also weigh heavy on decision making, coupled with the “desirability vs. justifiable” topic. This formalized way of dealing with hazards is part of our everyday tasks, whether we like it or not.

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    Ronald Smith

    I see Risk Management as a primary tool that should be taught from day one as a police officer. We are going to run into danger, we are going to seek the opportunity to end the chaos, and we want to restore peace. All of the external factors play a part in the speed and efficiency of our goals. As a leader in law enforcement, we can train officers what to look for and how to respond but we will not always be on the scene to guide them when disaster befalls them. Scenario and other realistic training are a great way to teach young officers how to mitigate risk. When we get to the command level there are many tools available within and from outside the agency to help determine risk. Mishaps are going to happen, how we respond as individuals and as an organization is how we maintain our ligitemacy.

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    Eric Sathers

    Risk management is a tool that should be used in just about every facet of law enforcement. Obviously, it should be used to ensure officer safety and survivability as well as the safety and survivability of members of the community. A good risk management approach should go beyond the tangible safety risks and also look at things like background investigations, hiring, and field training. We need to get the best people into the job who provide us the least amount of liability. If an individual is likely to create officer safety issues or if they are potential litigation risks, we should consider not bringing them on board.

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    Paul Brignac III

    I believe that leaders must recognize that different types of risk exist for LE today. Obvious risk such as violence are not the only issues to be addressed. Civil liability risk have increased dramatically for the LE officer of today as well.

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      Scott Crawford

      I agree that the risks of civil liability has increased so much. It will even get worse as the talks about qualified immunity continue.

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    Scott Crawford

    Over the last 4 years our department has put a great deal of emphasis on creating a solid risk management team. Everyone`s goal should be to avoid any litigation, but we should be concerned about recognizing and minimizing the risks we take to out ourselves in that position.

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      I agree. The best defense against litigation is a solid offense and being proactive with policy, procedure, tactics, and holding people accountable to them. I have seen a few agencies that had policies and procedures that were often broken with no recourse, which lead to many problems.

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    Thomas Martin

    Law enforcement separates the chaos from the calm. We take the initial risk when we don the uniform and leave our home. No one makes us do it, as it is our choice. We selflessly choose to take on the associated risk and hazards that accompany the uniform. As leaders we must role model the proper behavior that we expect from our staff while we manage these risk and hazards.

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      Sgt. Samantha Koscher

      I agree. We ask a lot of our officers. Communicating the value of their work and emphasizing the importance of their wellbeing is important for leaders to do. Risk management is a group effort requiring active participation from all personnel. This behavior should be modeled and promotes by those in leadership positions.

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    Buck Wilkins

    This should be on every officers mind to make sure they do the right thing. follow policy and procedures and you will always be covered. I am thankful that we have a team that keeps us up to date.

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      This is so true Buck, we all should always think about and do the right thing. Policy is put in place to guide and protect us. Its' not there to hurt us; but to help us have longevity.

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    Sgt. Samantha Koscher

    I think risk management is an important part of a leaders responsibility. Law enforcement leaders should take steps to protect staff and the public from unnecessary risk to safety, loss or resources, and ligation. I agree with the presenters statement that risk management strategies should be adopted by all personnel and treated as group effort. In our agency, staff are aware of the polices in place to mitigate known risks, but ultimately their judgement and decision making is the best tool in effecting risk management.

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    In this module I learned the distinction between risk and hazards and also how the policies, procedures, and tactics we employ are done to mitigate risk to ourselves and the community as we encounter hazards. It's important to recognize that these are proactive attempts to reduce or eliminate risk in our often dangerous world.

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      Burt Hazeltine

      The difference between risk and hazard is something that I had previously not considered. I also agree that we need to do what we can to minimize risk. I do feel in law enforcement it is impossible to eliminate risk.

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    Travis Linskens

    This module expresses the importance of risk management. I feel like it should be a top priority at a leadership level but to be completely effective it must be an organizational focus from the top to the bottom. We are all responsible, to some degree, for the amount of risk we put on ourselves and the community we serve. Sound judgement and common sense can have the biggest impact on risk management because policies can only guide us so far.

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      Kenneth Davis

      Travis- It must be a top priority. recent events in my jurisdiction really bought this concept home just a few months ago. Although many see RM as boring, mundane and cumbersome, its importance is clear. This has always been a struggle with law enforcement agencies, not so much in the fire and EMS realms. I am curious as to why that might be-

      Best and stay safe-

      Ken

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      Darryl Richardson

      Travis, I completely agree with you. Every person needs think of risk management from the new recruit all the way up to the top of the chain of command. Everybody takes some responsibility in the risk they put themselves in.

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    Brent Olson

    As a leader, managing risk is something that we do everyday. When we approve or disapprove a search warrant, a vehicle pursuit, or entry into a residence for any number of reasons we are weighing the risks versus benefits. I think a good aspect of this lesson, that I didn't necessarily associate with risk management, is the human factors of mental awareness and physical or emotional fatigue. While I certainly am aware of these factors in my position, I hadn't really thought of them belonging to a risk management assessment. However, after the lesson, I realize that risk management based decisions do affect the human element.

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      Chris Crawford

      Agreed. That one kind of snuck up however has been ever present in front of us the whole time. and it does make complete sense. Its our responsibility to know our limitations and check our pride and ego. And to also look out for each other.

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    Kenneth Davis

    Managing and mitigating risk is not only a professional obligation, it is also a moral one. At the end of the day, we, as leaders, have an obligation to prepare and make as safe a workspace and environment as we possibly can (Harrington, 2021). Although it is a key responsibility of leadership in service of the agency in terms of professional duty, we owe it to our subordinates to give them every tool available to keep them safe and secure. Appropriately managing and mitigating risk does exactly that.

    I have witnessed agencies gloss over safety training and safety planning. They have paid a price for such. An agency in my jurisdiction, just this year, experienced a line of duty death. During the ensuing OSHA investigation, it was determined that there existed several breakdowns in the equipment inspection and reporting process. It has been addressed, but the damage from what occurred remains. It was a break in trust. Subordinates trust their leadership to enforce policies fairly and equitably, including the ones seen by many as mundane. The fact that such an event did happen just proves that risk management and mitigation is not a mundane task.

    References

    Harrington, R. (2021). Progressive law enforcement leader managing departmental risks. Module # 7, Week # 4. National Command and Staff College.

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    Kaiana Knight

    I think that law enforcement officers should educate themselves more in depth concerning risk management. I know agencies educate the officers, but I don't feel that it is enough. Jack Ryan, an attorney and instructor with the Public Agency Training Council identified 12 high-risk critical tasks that impact law enforcement operations: Use of force, pursuit and emergency vehicle operations, search and seizure including arrest, care, custody, and control of prisoners, domestic violence, property and evidence, off-duty conduct, sexual harassment or misconduct, selection and hiring, internal investigations, special operations, and dealing with people who have mental illnesses or emotional disturbances. I agree that these can affect law enforcement officers, so we as law enforcement officers must be vigilant when making decisions.

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    Chris Crawford

    Some of the obvious mitigations were just that obvious, but I appreciate the matter of things like fatigue being brought up as a factor to consider. The things we are responsible for such as being up and awake for long periods of time. We need to put our pride and ego aside. This is no time to "suck it up" if we don't have to and our human limitations may get someone hurt or worse.

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      Ronald Springer

      Chris,
      Most of my newest officers are in their late teens and early twenties. So we need to use risk management so they have time to finish growing up. That being said we also need to understand that they are adults and deserve the reasoning behind the policies. It is important to keep them safe by limiting the number of hours they can work, preventing pursuits, and using other risk management policies but just as important to explain the why behind the policies.

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    Jay Callaghan

    Risk management is a formalized way of dealing with hazards (Harrington, 2017). I can recall early in my career, being involved in pursuits or other critical incidents where we created officer jeopardy unnecessarily. I think back and thank God we were lucky. I did not understand the consequences of our actions as a young officer. However, as I gained more experience and made my mistakes along the way, I realized the importance of RM. As I got into leadership roles these concepts that Ms. Harrington described are always on the forefront of my mind. I always share this advice with officers and leaders alike in regards to "the risk": Is it ethical? Can I justify it? How will my actions be perceived later?

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    Derek Champagne

    Risk management is something that is needed in every agency and often not fully understood by younger officers. As a young narcotics Agent, I would often get discouraged when we were not allowed to pursue a vehicle or conduct certain operations, but now as the Lieutenant, I understand why things had to be done this way. The risk of crashing cars and endangering the public is not worth the liability that comes along with that sort of operation. The risk vs the reward makes me thoroughly consider all of our operations before execution.

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      Robert Vinson

      It certainly changed my perspective on risk management as well when I became a supervisor. It certainly makes you look at risk management from a completely different perspective.

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        Kyle Phillips

        well said. There is definitely a new perspective on risk management as a supervisor, when you are the one responsible to keep your crew going home at the end of shift.

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    Ronald Springer

    My agency obviously uses risk management in our policies because we have man of the policies discussed on file already. We use these policies to keep the public and ourselves safer. This reduces our liabilities and maintains our reputation.

    Harrington, R. (2017). Progressive law enforcement leader effectively managing department risks. Module 7, Weeks 7 & 8. National Command and Staff College.

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    Robert Vinson

    Departments often focus on major issues regarding risk management, such as vehicle pursuits, use of force scenarios, etc. I think it's important to also consider the physical and mental well being of officers as factors in the risk management process. As mentioned fatigue, as well as PTSD, can be major risk factors if not recognized and addressed correctly.

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      Andrew Peyton

      My agency has taken great strides in combating fatigue and offers medical help with PTSD. Through policies and regulations, deputies are limited to the number of hours they can work without being forced to take a mandatory 8 hours break. Additionally, our insurance providers offer additional assistance with PTSD.

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    Burt Hazeltine

    Policies that are put in place to help manage risk are often the same policies that front-line officers see as taking the fun out of the job. Being in a supervisor capacity I now have to consider risks when conducting planning for training and events. I can now clearly see how these policies that were put in place were in the best interest of the officers and the department. Leaders must consider risk management concerning the people under their command in order t maintain the safety of their people.

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    Kevin Balser

    When we speak of risk management, the thoughts that immediately come to light in my agency are critical incidents. It seems that these are the most problematic and reoccurring for my agency and probably most other agencies. The filing of wrongful death lawsuits and excessive use of force lawsuits will always occur, but perhaps how we train our officers regarding the use of force will assist with those in the future. The reduction of those cases should always be paramount for any law enforcement agency. Inevitably a suspect gives the officer no recourse and lethal force is justified. But when there may not be a lethal force encounter, we should be able to better equip and train our officers to bring the incident to a peaceful resolution. That is always the goal but often there will be a physical encounter and this is when citizen complaints and lawsuits occur. Mistakes will take place, but if we can use risk management techniques to counter this the agency will be in a better position to challenge those that just seek a quick payout.

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      David Mascaro

      I agree with you Kevin. All too often incidents escalate and cooler heads should prevail. Especially when someone is simply seeking what is believed to be an easy pay out.

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    Darryl Richardson

    Risk management is important for every agency. As a supervisor I try to minimize risks for my personnel while they conduct daily tasks such as med pass. Before becoming a supervisor, I did not realize how many lawsuits came from Medical in regards to Offender not receiving their medication or receiving the wrong medication.

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    Andrew Peyton

    My agency offers extensive training including yearly legal aspects updates and often utilizes outside agencies to present these topics. Additionally, we conduct use of force training, annual ethics, sexual harassment, and CIT training all of which help to reduce litigations.

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    As a young officer I was always looking forward to the excitement of vehicle pursuits, foot chase, etc. Expecting and welcoming it all; with no worries or thoughts of risk management. I always wondered why we had all the checks and balances; prior to any warrant execution, training, etc. Now that I am in charge of training; I realize why my past supervisors were so reluctant to act or be proactive at times. At the end of the day its' not about us or fulfilling our thirst for the fast lane; its about our future and agency.

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    David Mascaro

    Mitigating risk and liabilities is common theme in law enforcement today. The hard part is balancing the risk vs. reward in the terms of injury and death to members of the innocent public, officers and even the suspect. This is not even mentioning the civil liabilities. It's a complex task and one that training and the application of the risk versus the reward mentality can greatly assist with. It's not about the excitement of a good chase or the adrenaline dump after a gunfight, when you see the destruction caused by something that could very well have been handled differently.

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      Jose Alvarenga

      I agree. As unpopular among deputies as a policy such as this can be, it only makes since. liability and lose of life...Its just not worth the risk.

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    Jose Alvarenga

    It is important for an agency to asses risk and introduce policy to protect the officer and public safety, even when the policy in unpopular. As David Mascaro said Risk vs Reward. The days of chasing a traffic violator down a busy street during school pick-up is done. Its not worth the risk. Policy preventing this type of pursuit is sure to be unpopular among officer but it only makes since. The liability and cost is to great and unnecessary.

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    Gregory Hutchins

    The lecture mentions the potential need to shift from the paramilitary to embrace a better risk management culture; one would counter that this should not be the case. We, as a paramilitary organization, need better to embrace the risk management culture of our services. Military leaders at every level do not place their personnel at risk unless necessary, and it is always a conscious decision, not taken lightly. Often that amount of risk must be approved throughout the chain of command. Human capital is the most important, and no piece of equipment is ever valued above. The culture of risk management exists to protect its personnel and resources while accomplishing the mission. Deviating to caring about the equipment more or failing to train due to the expense invites an incredible amount of risk to our personnel, and ultimately the community one is supposed to protect. The law enforcement community struggles with changing the culture because they are a tool of society to provide services that do not generate revenue; elected and appointed officials will continue to set the parameters, forcing law enforcement leaders to accept unmitigated, unnecessary, and needless risk.

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      Very well stated, sir. Our people are our most valued resource and should be the most important factor weighed when practicing risk management. Public Safety will never be a revenue generating business and it most definitely should not be. We are somewhat bound by some elected or appointed officials because each of them have their own agendas. We must continue to do our best at mitigating the risks created by these people and not be afraid to make an example of them as part of our own risk management process to ensure their mistakes are not made again. We need to put our best effort forward. I do think, however, this module refers to a shift away from paramilitary thinking because it can be archaic and sluggish when we need to be quick and agile in our response to risk. If risk management is everyone's responsibility, and I believe it is, then it isn't simply the responsibility of our leading commanders. If the lowest person on the pole can mitigate risk by making things safer, save or expand our resources and mitigate litigation, then they should be empowered to make those moves every time.

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      Jacqueline Dahms

      Agreed Greg. Politics plays too heavy of a hand in setting parameters on law enforcement. Essentially the cost will be too much, either at the hands of law enforcement or the community.

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    Kyle Phillips

    Each member of an organization must take ownership of risk management and exercise sound judgment to alleviate foreseen avoidable risk. I believe senior leaderships responsibility is to set the policy that protects the Agency, employee and citizens. Then, providing training so that everyone who represents the agency from the CSO to the Chief has the tools to exercise sound risk management decision making. I believe a valuable tool to assess if risk management is being performed is to debrief with your staff to assess what went well and where improvement s can be made.

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    I completely agree that it takes everyone in the organization to really hone our skills at risk management, certainly with as much liability as there is in our profession. I have been enamored by some of the responses for this module and certainly can see varying degrees of agreement. What's even more interesting, in my opinion, is to actually see risk management at work as it applies to the law enforcement profession versus what, or who, we would consider our partners and how they view risk management. We often have unfunded mandates, law changes or new laws to enforce without much thought of how these will actually impact a public safety organization. I could drivel on for many paragraphs about the misunderstandings of federal, state and, in particular, local politicians and the impact on risk management they directly have with their political motives. Risk management can only work so well if only a few a practicing it. Often times, our politicians do not weigh in factors in overlapping components because they are either unaware or, worse, unconcerned about the risks involved.

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    Zach Roberts

    Risk management is something that has changed drastically throughout the years in law enforcement. As a leader, you need to be able to identify risk management and understand the importance of risk vs reward. Officers need to constantly ask themselves why. Why am I doing this? What is the reward for doing this and is there another way. Leaders need to be able to help their officers avoid risks. This is done through recognizing officers physical and emotional fatigue, attitude, mental awareness and emotional intelligence.

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      Jeff Byrne

      Good points, Zach. Policy and Procedure can't account for all risks associated in law enforcement. Understanding risk vs. reward is key to officer safety and public safety.

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    Jeff Byrne

    Everyone is the organizations needs to embrace risk management strategies for the safety of officers and the community, but also for the constant building and maintaining of public trust. The public expects law enforcement, no matter where you fit in the organizational rank/structure, to employ common sense strategies that minimize or mitigate situations where injury, death and litigation could be the result.

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    Jacqueline Dahms

    Risk management is very much encased in law enforcement because of the inherent risks. Even though policies and procedures can’t possibly prevent all risks they are constantly being reviewed and updated to adapt to the changing hazards. In my position, risk management is done daily, always assessing and evolving routines and procedures to keep my people safe. Training is a big part of it but getting the organizational culture to automatically assess situations is difficult.