Avoiding Costly Lawsuits Through Recorded Interactions

As police departments across the country face increased community scrutiny, many are choosing to work with their local governments to implement changes that protect both law enforcement and the public, as well as improve community relations. According to an analysis performed by the Wall Street Journal, the country’s 20 cities and counties with the biggest police departments have paid upwards of $2 billion in alleged misconduct and civil rights lawsuits since 2015.

Alleged claims of misconduct hurt communities in more than just their pocketbooks: When cities are quick to settle borderline and frivolous cases, they unfairly tarnish the reputation of officers and encourage even more frivolous claims. But these kinds of claims can be nipped in the bud by the strategic use of recording technology. Interview room recording solutions like CaseCracker can help stop expensive and time-wasting legal back-and-forth before it starts, and help law enforcement feel confident when doing their jobs. Furthermore, high-quality video and audio provide transparency, thereby improving the relationship between police and the communities they serve and protect.

There is proof that targeted, thoughtful change made by police departments and their communities can save a lot of money. For example, New York City, which leads the country in payouts, saw a whopping 49 percent drop in claims between 2014 and 2018, with another 10 percent drop in 2019, by working with the city’s law department to improve training and policy.  The $175 million the city spent on payouts in 2019 could have covered approximately half of the expense of after school programs or all of the expense of life-saving traffic enforcement instead. No matter the size of their community, no one who is willing to lay their life on the line to protect it, wants to see money diverted from programs that keep it safe and strong.

Keeping abreast of reform trends and ways to use technology as a preventative measure is an important money-saving tactic in today’s climate. Houston Police Chief and president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, Art Acevedo, told the Wall Street Journal, “There’s consequences to these payouts. Litigation that visits City A today will more than likely visit City B tomorrow.” Forward-thinking law enforcement agencies can get ahead of the game by embracing recording technology to help prevent frivolous lawsuits and bolster their cases in court.

To learn more about how you can fund an update to your regarding equipment, click here. For more on how CaseCracker interview recording solutions can help save your community money, please contact us.