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Proposed new Law Enforcement standard 1.2.10 relating to duty to intervene

At a recent meeting of the Standards Review and Interpretation Committee (SRIC) the committee directed staff to post for client comments the following proposed new standard.  Please post your comments prior to Friday July 17th, 2020.


1.2.10 Duty to Intervene (MMMM) (LE1)   NEW STANDARD PROPOSAL

A written directive requires employees to take assertive action and notify appropriate supervisory authority if they observe or become aware of what they believe to be criminal conduct, unconstitutional behavior, unnecessary use of force, or other inappropriate activities that would discredit the agency by other employees or public safety/criminal justice associates.


Trust placed in the agency by the community can be damaged or completely lost if the agency has employees that do not take action when encountering inappropriate conduct by other employees or associates.  Therefore, it is paramount for personnel to understand through policy and training that immediate action and intervention is a requirement of their employment and a component of their oath of office and code of ethics.

Some situations, such as the inappropriate application of force or due process procedures may necessitate immediate intervention.  Other circumstances, such as conduct unbecoming of an employee may be best handled through reporting the matter to the appropriate supervisory or administrative authority.  Protections offered by “Whistle Blower” policies, including applicable statutes, should be considered to reinforce the importance of reporting this inappropriate and/or potentially dangerous behavior. Regardless, the intent of this standard is for employees to prevent the public and the agency from being negatively impacted as the result of such behavior or actions.

Employees have a responsibility to take appropriate action in circumstances  that involve fellow employees as well as other public safety associates whose actions are criminal, unconstitutional, or inappropriate and will harm the reputation of the agency or the law enforcement profession as a whole.

Other public safety/criminal justice associates might include, but is not limited to, members of task forces with which the agency works, members from other agencies with shared or concurrent jurisdictions, agency volunteers, or representatives from support organizations within the broader criminal justice system. 

When encountering unjustified actions of other employees or public safety/criminal justice associates that could result in injury, death or violations of constitutional or civil rights, intervention must be immediate.  (MMMM) (LE1)

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