Rights of Police Officers, Sheriff’s Deputies and other Law Enforcement Professionals

Rights of Police Officers, Sheriff’s Deputies and other Law Enforcement Professionals
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Resources
Recorded on: 2019-10-29
Unit 1Slide Deck: Rights of Police Officers, Sheriff’s Deputies and other Law Enforcement Professionals
Unit 2Workbook: Rights of Police Officers, Sheriff’s Deputies and other Law Enforcement Professionals
Unit 3Recording: Rights of Police Officers, Sheriff’s Deputies and other Law Enforcement Professionals

A career in law enforcement grants specific powers, but it also comes with a set of obligations and limitations on one’s conduct and rights. It may seem like a tradeoff but it is ultimately designed to ensure that the reputation of the law enforcement institutions is maintained through the people in the frontlines representing them.

Back on Justice Clearinghouse is Wayne C. Beyer, a nationally renowned legal expert. He served as the lead counsel in hundreds of police misconduct and corrections cases and provided counsel to the District of Columbia representing their police and corrections department, and New Hampshire’s police and jails. He presented in Georgetown University Law Center, the Defense Research Institute, the American Bar Association and Federal Judicial Center for District and Magistrate Judges on police misconduct issues and is the author of Police Misconduct: A Practitioner’s Guide to Section 1983.

Guidelines governing officers’ rights may get convoluted at times, and Wayne leads this course to clarify and provide a deep-dive on the topic. Points discussed include:

  • Recent headlines that exhibit some officers’ lack of discretion that led to disciplinary measures.
  • The concept of officers’ right to privacy that unpacks:
    • The things that are kept from the public.
    • Information that will and/or must be disclosed to their department.
    • Rules on on-duty transactions and conduct.
    • The type of people, organizations, and relations officers are allowed, regulated, and prohibited to associate with.
  • Regulating officers’ secondary employment
    • The types of secondary employment set-up and prohibitions.
    • The reasons and procedures in place to regulate officers’ secondary employment.
  • A look into the right to free speech and its limitations.
    • Which types of statements and/or speech are protected and are not.
    • The Garcetti and Pickering-Connick tests that help establish free speech limitations.
    • Engaging in social network and the guidelines for its use as a public servant.
  • Ensuring officers are free from discrimination and harassment.
    • The most common issues when it comes to discrimination and harassment.
    • How an officer can prove that harassment or discrimination transpired.
    • Department’s defense from harassment and discrimination accusations.
  • Due process and disciplinary procedure in the workplace.
    • The important elements of having written policies and procedures, right to notice and contest charges, and progressive discipline.
    • A rundown of the common procedures to handle disciplinary measures, its important components and features.
    • The elements of a penalty guide/matrix, its characteristics, and the common offenses.
  • Officers’ right to representation/counsel.
    • How it applies to criminal, administrative and civil cases.
    • Garrity rights against self-incrimination and handling officer-involved fatality cases.
  • The right to sue those who injure or defame officers, and the proof and process needed in one.
  • Questions Wayne addressed in the Q&A segment were about:
    • How officers’ right to privacy translate into potential Brady material.
    • How to position these limitations when recruiting new officers.
    • Divulging law enforcement operation information to an elected official.


Audience Comments:

  • “Since it just touched on many topics regarding officer rights, I appreciate the list of resources.” — C. William
  • “The presenter was very detailed and informative in all the information.” — Donald
  • “It was a lot to take in. But I think hearing someone else’s point of view and expertise in this area was the most valuable.” — ERIC
  • “I think this class was very comprehensible from start to finish.” –James
  • “The presenter did an excellent job explaining the material.” — Patrick
  • “The social media portion was excellent. This is new territory for many police managers and executives.” — Ryan


Additional Resources
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After the Webinar: The Rights of Police Officers, Sheriff’s Deputies, and Other Law Enforcement Professionals. Q&A with Wayne Beyer
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