29th July 2020

Interesting steps have been taken by New York State Legislators who have proposed a law introducing insurance to address police officer misconduct.

On 6 July 2020 a New York State Bill was introduced which if passed would require law enforcement officers state-wide to carry personal liability insurance coverage.

The measure aims to establish a financial disincentive for unlawful Police actions.  Officers who have claims brought against them arising from misconduct might see their premiums go up and they would be required to pay those costs.

The proposal is that officers are required to individually have liability insurance to cover them when performing their duties.  The base rate of the policy would be covered by public finances.  Officers however who had misconduct claims brought against them might see their premiums go up and they would be required to pay those costs.

It is reported that in the Financial Year 2018 New York Police Department’s (NYPD) settlements for cases brought against the Police totalled approximately $230 million.  It is argued that US taxpayers are bailing out law enforcers who engage in misconduct.  It is stated the officers engaging in the misconduct are often evading meaningful accountability.

It would be interesting to see whether the legislation is passed and becomes law in New York State.  If it does become law it will be very interesting to see if cases of Police misconduct do reduce.