Trump’s Promised Police Protection: Are Authorities Already Indemnified?
In a recent address to law enforcement personnel and their families, President Donald Trump vowed to implement an indemnification policy for police officers, stating “I will direct my administration to fully indemnify law enforcement officers in federal, state, or local custody for any legal costs they may incur in the performance of their duty.” Experts, however, note that this policy is already in place in many police departments across the country. According to legal experts, most police departments already have an indemnification clause for their officers, thus implying that Trump’s plan might simply be a repackaging of an existing policy. Not all agree with the need for a federal program however; while some argue a national program is necessary to ensure that police officers are completely protected under the law if they find themselves in legal troubles, others see this as a dangerous and unneeded encroachment into police operations and policies by the federal government. The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) has so far been quiet on the issue, though they did release a statement after the President’s address noting their support for “any measures that make it easier for police officers to do their jobs and protect the public”. Whether the Trump administration’s plan will ultimately result in any further policy changes or protections for police officers remains to be seen, but it is clear that a federal policy on police indemnification is something that will have to be carefully examined by experts before it is put into place.