At a recent meeting of the Standards Review and Interpretation Committee (SRIC) the committee directed staff to post for client comments the following proposed standard revision. Please post your comments prior to Friday January 22nd, 2021.
1.2.10 (M M M M) (LE1) Duty to Intervene
A written directive requires employees to intervene within their scope of authority and training, and notify appropriate supervisory authority if they observe another agency employee or public safety associate engage in any unreasonable use of force or if they become aware of any violation of departmental policy, state/provincial or federal law, or local ordinance.
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 unreasonable application of force or inappropriate 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. Policies may elect to address the concept of timing and feasibility of intervention, and any associated training should consider examples for clarity and the establishment of employee responsibility within the constructs of the directive.
Furthermore, it is understood that 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. This standard does not require non-sworn personnel to intervene in use of force situations where they are not properly trained or required by oath of office or law to take such actions.
This standard does not require non-sworn personnel to intervene in use of force situations where they are not properly trained or required by oath of office or law to take such actions.
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.