Should an Officer Use His or Her Personal Cell Phone to Take Work-Related Photographs?

I’ve been asked several times lately whether it is a good idea for an officer to use his or her personal cell phone to take work-related photographs, such as photographs of a crime scene or photographs of seized items. In this post, I explain why I think that’s OK, so long as it is consistent with agency policy.

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Are Ticket or Arrest Quotas Lawful?

I’ve recently been asked by several people whether it is lawful to require officers to issue a certain number of citations, or to make a certain number of arrests, per day or per month. Generally, I think it is lawful, subject to some important caveats. Let me start by noting that the use of quotas … Read more

Probation Officer Liability and the Public Duty Doctrine

A recent court of appeals case, Blaylock v. N.C. Department of Correction-Division of Community Corrections, has spurred to write about something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while: probation officer liability when a supervised offender hurts someone. In Blaylock, a probation officer was supervising a mentally ill probationer named James Oakes who had … Read more