Policies and policy maintenance are central to public safety agency operations, but many agencies underestimate the costs they incur to create, update and train on their policies. Costs vary depending of the size of the department and the community served, but when accounting for the amount of time (and/or overtime), lawsuits and other issues that can arise from out-of-date policies, the total cost of public safety policy maintenance can be huge.
Not only do many agencies underestimate the cost, but they don’t always have the internal resources available to adequately update their policies. Legislation is consistently updated and new case law established. To ensure your policy accurately reflects these changes, time and resources need to be devoted to staying up-to-date and maintaining policy documentation.
Share this image on your site.
Click to Tweet: @Lexipol sheds some light on hidden #policy costs for #publicsafety agencies: https://ctt.ac/iH1kf+ pic.twitter.com/kyuUmOTBHz
Policy maintenance includes more than just updating policies as needed. There are many items that can be time-consuming for internal staff, leading to higher salary and overtime costs. These tasks include:
- Developing new policies
- Developing policy training
- Paying for legal review on internally developed policies
- Tracking policy acknowledgements
- Reviewing legislation and case law
- Developing policy updates
Partnering with a trusted source to help your agency stay on top of new legislation and case law, as well as provide a basis for your policy development, can save you time, money and legal headaches. The ability to acknowledge policies and track training electronically saves time initially and down the line when the documentation is needed.
Lawsuits, Claims and Personal Grievances
Out-of-date policy or lack of policy on specific subjects can lead to legal and administrative consequences. The ramifications of not properly maintaining your policy manual can lead to costs that include:
- Attorney fees
- Settlements and payouts
- Time/money spent producing documentation (e.g., training records)
- Time/money spent preparing for depositions and court appearances
- Time/money spent responding to citizen complaints
- Damage to reputation
With updated, legally sound policy, many legal costs can be avoided entirely. Maintaining policies that meet state and federal requirements, training on those policies and having solid documentation mitigates risk for your officers, department and community.
Lexipol is a trusted partner to many agencies across the United States. Our experienced legal team is constantly reviewing new legislation and case law to ensure your policies are up-to-date and compliant. Avoid the hidden costs of public safety policy maintenance and make sure your agency is prepared.