Top 3 Risks to Law Enforcement During Civil Unrest

Civil unrest situations periodically arise, and that means law enforcement officers may quickly find themselves in a dangerous situation. These uprisings can happen just about anywhere and with little provocation. These are the top three risks that can arise out of responding to those situations.

Unsafe Conditions

Sending police officers into an area that is either in the midst of or on the verge of violence is a precarious situation. Because throngs of angry individuals are unpredictable, the risks are similarly difficult to mitigate. Officers may be charged with securing an area that is burning or protecting buildings already damaged, putting them at risk as soon as they arrive.

Escalating Violence

In an uprising, anything within reach can become a weapon such as bricks and garbage cans as tensions mount. Worse yet, those out looking for trouble may bring actual weapons like explosives or firearms. Civil unrest is already dangerous, but escalating violence can make a bad situation catastrophic in a matter of minutes. Officers need to be ready for anything in those situations.

Liability Exposures

With tensions high and chaos abounding, civil unrest situations mean additional liability risks. Besides proper training for all personnel, law enforcement liability insurance policies can offset the cost of settlements and legal fees to defend claims, making it a wise part of a risk management strategy.

Protecting the public is essential. However, officers need to take special care during civil uprisings.