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Timothy Roufa

Police Officers' Bill of Rights

By November 13, 2012

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Sure, you've heard of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Those amendments express important rights of individuals that protect citizens from intrusions and abuses from government authorities. What you may not be aware of, though, is that several organizations, including the Fraternal Order of Police, are pushing for clearly articulated rights for police officers.

Know Your Rights

Known as the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights, these rights help protect officers from overzealous internal investigators, biased supervisors and, most importantly, malicious prosecution. They help ensure that officers are guaranteed protections against self incrimination.

Justice For All

Based upon two Supreme Court rulings in Garrity v. New Jersey and Gardener v. Broderick, the officers' bill of rights does not protect bad officers. Instead, it helps to make sure officers get a fair shake, just like any other citizen.

Law enforcement requires that officers are held to the highest ethical standard. At the same time, they must make split second, life changing decisions. The police officers' bill of rights helps to ensure that cooler heads prevail when determining whether or not officers made a good decision and that officers are afforded the same protections they are called upon to provide to others.

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