Protection from civil liability?

In light of the recent law enforcement integrity act, and Greenwood Village recently came out and they said they would support their officers from civil liability. Do you have plans to go through and support your officers if they should face the same sort of civil liability?

Littleton Police Chief Doug StephensChief Douglas Stephens: Thanks. Civil liability is a hot topic too, qualified immunity. I don’t know where we are with that, and that’s a larger question obviously for our elected officials on that. But here’s where I stand on it, and here’s the message I’ve given to our officers is that that law changed nothing in my opinion, as far as how we operate, how they should be operating. I think that if you look at the way the law is written, and yeah, the lawyers, they have differing views because they’re trained in the law. But from a common sense, law enforcement officer’s perspective, if you’re acting within the scope of your authority, and you’re acting within the law, you’re covered. If you’re not, you have some personal exposure there. That’s how we’ve operated forever.

I think if you’re acting within the scope of your authority, if you’re acting professionally, if you’re doing things legally, there’s nothing to be concerned about. If you’re outside the law, if you’re outside the scope of your authority, then yeah, you just have some personal exposure, and I don’t see anything as necessarily wrong with that. I just think that, again, the language, how the law is written has caused some concern with some folks and some officers. But for our personnel, the message they’re getting from me is this changes nothing. Act professional, act within the law, like you do every single day and night out there, and there won’t be any issues.