Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Police reform

Some years ago I heard an interesting proposal on a podcast.  I have no idea where I heard it so can't give credit where credit is due, but I wonder if anyone is thinking seriously about this strategy.

Require all police officers to purchase their own liability insurance.  Each officer would be given a stipend based on the cost of said insurance for an applicant with a "clean" record.  Anything above that amount comes out of the officer's pocket.  If an officer is perceived as a bad risk by the insurance companies, their price would presumably increase.  A really bad cop would not be able to afford the premiums and officers would have an incentive to minimize those behaviors which increased their liability costs.

No idea if this is realistic or even possible but it seemed like an interesting idea when I first heard it and seems even more interesting now.


Anonymous said...

Not realistic. There's a reason they currently enjoy limited immunity. They are already uninsurable, and we want them that way. No insurance would ever pay off for crimes. And we dont want timid police who are afraid of criminals for fear of being sued. Police in mexico wear masks because their criminals are very dangerous. It's bad enough our police currently have to fear the courts.

-- generic

John Wilder said...

One comment over at my place was that each officer should have a "folder" that goes with him wherever he goes. It's a permanent record, and too many bad things? That would leave the department/city/etc. at risk for BIG lawsuits.

heresolong said...

Actually they enjoy limited immunity because the courts said they did. Congress passed a law many years ago granting immunity to some government officials and the courts expanded that to police. Nowhere in the law did it mention police departments. At least that is the legal analysis that I heard on a legal podcast. I am not a lawyer and haven't seen the source materials.

heresolong said...

PS I'm not sure if they really are uninsurable. Individual departments get insurance? I suspect that a market would develop if it doesn't already exist.