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The Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency (IRMA) Report

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Prepared by: Frank J. Marino
Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency, Intern
Illinois State University

BACKGROUND
Since 1986, IRMA has sponsored a risk management grant program to encourage its members to upgrade their police department standards by achieving the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®) police accreditation. IRMA established the grant program and continues to strongly support accreditation on the premise that local governments are constantly and increasingly being held liable for damages resulting from public employees wrongfully carrying out or acting without a policy. This makes accreditation extremely desirable. An excellent defense to lawsuits charging police with such acts as false arrest, use of excessive force, or violation of civil rights is that the officer was acting properly in accordance with established policies, and that those policies were approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Conversely, lack of acceptable department policies and/or training certainly cast doubt on any defense a police agency might attempt and may actually be the basis for the plaintiff's case.

In our continuing effort to evaluate and verify the efficacy of our risk management services to the members, IRMA recently completed a study to determine if we could ascertain if there is in fact a significant and quantitative difference in the frequency and severity outcomes of police professional liability claims occurring in accredited versus non accredited IRMA member Police Departments. This study was particularly important in view of the significant commitment of time and money required to attain accreditation. It was also undertaken to determine if there was sufficient empirical evidence to assist us with a decision to implement similar accreditation grant programs for IRMA fire service and public works functions.

METHODOLOGY
IRMA police departments were divided into 2 groups; those who had attained the CALEA© accreditation, and those who have not (See attachments I & II). Data collected for all Departments from IRMA claims and financial services, IRMA underwriting and loss control records was as follows: number of sworn officers, number of coverage 25 (police professional, i.e., use of excessive force, discrimination, false arrest, violation of civil rights) claims from 1993 to 1997, and the severity (both reserved and paid-out) of those claims (See attachment I). In addition, for departments with the CALEA© accreditation, we also collected the date of initial accreditation, and the number of reaccreditations completed (See attachment II). Note: The number of reaccreditations does not appear to be a significant factor when comparing frequency and severity results of accredited entities to each other. Frequency and Claims data were then plugged into formulas to find the number of claims per 100 officers and the severity of claims per 100 officers (See attachment III). The data was then compared for the two groups. The following table depicts the results:

 

 

Total # of Sworn Officers

Total Claims

# of Claims per 100 Officers

Total Severity

Severity per 100 Officers

Accredited

627

54

8.61

396,882.76

$ 63,298.69

Non-Accredited

1342

138

10.28

1,312,089.62

$ 97,771.21

CONCLUSION
When the data from non-accredited departments is compared with accredited departments, it evidences a difference of 1.67 claims per 100 officers or over 16% reduction in frequency and $34,472.52 per 100 officers or 35% reduction in severity in favor of the accredited departments. The reduction in total severity is quite dramatic over the five- (5) year period.

IRMA's conclusion is that this study provides us with quantitative evidence that Police Accreditation does in fact significantly impact a law enforcement agencies ability to prevent and reduce loss in the area of police professional liability. We will continue to support this grant program and encourage our members to attain accreditation. It also provides us with the additional assurances that we should proceed with the development and implementation of similar grant programs for fire service and public works functions.
In sum, we believe that Accreditation affords the opportunity to more effectively manage an organization (regardless of the business). Effective management results in effective risk management!

Attachment 1

Police Accreditation Analysis
Non - Accredited Police Departments

1993 - 1997  

Member #

# of Sworn Officers

# of Claims

Severity of Claims

100

63

3

12,501.00

5800

7

0

0.00

200

31

3

3,002.00

400

50

5

42,740.15

500

46

1

146,000.00

600

39

1

0.00

800

21

1

3,112.25

900

54

5

19,105.85

6400

23

1

609.50

1000

13

2

26,953.40

1100

22

0

0.00

1200

30

2

0.00

5900

14

0

0.00

1300

36

3

4,414.48

1500

54

6

16,607.81

6600

45

3

25,798.75

1600

29

6

81,002

1800

10

0

0

1900

27

4

18,914.00

2000

24

2

1

2100

13

0

0

2200

44

3

5,001.00

2300

35

4

26,989.00

5600

23

2

16,500.00

2400

40

2

0

2600

40

7

35,295.61

2800

46

1

12,501.00

2900

35

2

28,537.00

3600

23

3

17389.83

3700

26

2

1,707.48

3800

33

16

308,644.65

3900

19

5

79,718.20

4100

28

2

14,962.47

6100

21

2

0

6900

11

0

0

4200

17

7

105,685.61

4300

40

4

7,838.50

4400

40

2

0

4500

16

2

36,000.00

4600

20

2

57,500.00

4700

35

3

6,501.00

5000

17

3

857.25

5500

32

2

62,818.00

5100

50

14

86,880.83

 

 

 

 

Total

1342

138

1,312,089.62

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.28

$97,771.21

 

Attachment 2
Police Accreditation Analysis
Accredited Police Departments
1993 - 1997

Member #

# of Sworn Officers

Accreditation Date

Number of Re-accreditations

# of Claims

Severity of Claims

300

42

1997

0

8

22,689.69

700

76

1992

1

2

41,087.40

1400

35

1994

1

3

9,364.94

1700

27

1996

0

7

105,000.00

2500

34

1995

0

2

55,647.00

2700

65

1992

1

6

10,779.20

3100

21

1993

1

2

8,966.45

3200

38

1997

0

6

3,114.53

3300

89

1991

2

2

44,498.38

3400

26

1987

3

5

7,166.40

4000

49

1993

1

2

11,375.75

4800

57

1990

2

5

48,539.38

4900

25

1992

1

4

28,653.64

6700

43

1988

3

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTALS:

627

 

16

54

396,882.76

Number of Claims per 100 Officers 8.61
Severity of Claims
per 100 Officers $63,298.69

Attachment 3
FORMULAS
Frequency of Claims per 100 Officers

Frequency of Claims
Number of Sworn Officers X 100

Severity of Claims per 100 Officers
Number of Sworn Officers X 100

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