History Of The Legal Developments In Liability For Government Entities:
This session will provide participant with an understanding of the history
behind liability for governmental entities and set the foundation for an
understanding of the impact of policy on that liability.
Monell v Department Of Social Services: The Monell case set the stage
for governmental liability for violation of federally protected rights. These
lawsuits, alleging a violation of a federally protected right can be the
most costly for governmental entities. Participants will gain an understanding
of the defining factor of governmental liability, specifically: Policy; Custom;
Ordinance; Rule or Regulation that leads to a violation of a federally protected
right. Participants will also gain knowledge with respect to the concept
of a Final Policy Maker and the impact of a final policy maker on liability.
Incorporation Of A Practical Mission Statement/Agency Values Into Agency
Policy: This session will focus on the theory behind mission statements
and agency values and assist the participant in understanding how theoretical
mission statements and agency values can be used as the underlying foundation
High Risk/Low Risk Policy Matrix: Not all policies expose agencies
to liability. This session utilizes the high risk/low risk-high frequency/low
frequency matrix developed by the Gallagher-Westfall Group in order to assist
attendees in prioritizing agency policies for development, training and review.
Liability Assessment and The Multi-Layered Approach To Liability Avoidance:
This session utilizes the Gallagher-Westfall Group 6 layer approach to risk
assessment and liability avoidance. Participants will gain insight into the
reality that a written policy, standing alone, does not necessarily reduce
liability. Additional factors including enforcement of the policy as intended;
training; documentation; and review will also be examined.
Writing Policy/Where To Begin: This session will provide participants
with a practical approach to begin the task of writing a policy. Attendees
will be provided with a laundry list of resources that will enable them to
research the best (current) practices relating to the particular policy being
written. Participants will also gain an understanding of the importance of
tailoring policy to the needs of their particular agency.
Format: This session will examine the format of policy. What items
should be included; what items are necessary; how detailed should they be?
The Kiss principle as applied to public safety policy will also be examined.
High Risk Policies: This session will focus on high risk policies
and examine the legal trends under United States Supreme Court rulings, Federal
Consent Decrees by the United States Department of Justice and rulings of
lower federal and state courts impacting these policies. Participants will
gain an understanding of these trends so they may examine the policies from
their agencies to determine their conformity to these trends.
Low Risk Policies: This session will examine a number of low risk
policies. This examination will lead to a better understanding of the difference
between high-risk and low-risk policies while at the same time provide participants
with a sampling of low risk policies for their consideration. Contemporary
low-risk policies, such as cellular phone use, e-mail and computer use will
Model Policies/Policy Audits/Accreditation: This session will examine
the various resources available for model policies and the use of these “canned”
policies. An examination of policy audits conducted internally or by external
groups will be undertaken in an effort to provide the participants with knowledge
of how these audits are done. The accreditation process with respect to its
impact on agency policy will also be examined.
Training Issues With Respect To Policy—Entry Level and In-Service Training:
Participants will gain an understanding of the importance of training with
respect to existing and newly implemented agency policies. The session will
examine the concept of deliberate indifference to the obvious need for training
and how a failure to train on a new “high risk” policy will lead to agency
Policy Documentation and Enforcement Of Policy: Participants will
examine various methods for documenting the receipt and training of agency
policy as well as gaining an understanding of the importance of such documentation.
An examination of factors in policy enforcement will be undertaken with a
focus on the importance of enforcement of the “policy as intended” as opposed
to the “policy as interpreted.”
Developing Legal Trends In The Area Of Policy Development: Due to
the constant litigation facing agencies and the continuing development of
the law, the closing session will focus on developing trends in the law as
it relates to agency operation and practice. The session is intended to make
participants aware of areas that they should give added attention to in order
to be ahead of the trend rather than reactionary to a lawsuit.