Risk Control Newsletter – July 2020

July 1, 2020

In This Issue


 

Model Police and Jail Policies Available

Trident is pleased to announce the availability of updated police and jail policies and procedures for 2020. Our partners at OSS Law Enforcement Advisors® (OSS) regularly update our model polices.  Every policy for both law enforcement and jail policies have been edited, simplifying text with more use of present tense, first person singular, and simplified wording where practical.  New policies have been developed related specifically to Covid-19 and major updates have been made to reflect the changing landscape of the criminal justice system.

Contact us at asktheriskmanager@tridentpublicrisk.com for a free copy of OSS—Law Enforcement Advisors® (OSS) Model Law Enforcement Policies and Procedures. OSS has additional e-learning and other resources available at www.ossrisk.com.   OSS Law Enforcement Advisors® [OSS] is an Expert Witness and Law Enforcement Consulting agency comprised of Subject Matter Experts dedicated to improving both public and private law enforcement and security operations.


 

Last Minute Tips for Fireworks & Special Events 

 
Risk Management for Fireworks Displays

With so much going on in the country right now, local government has been forced to divert their attention and resources to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and protests.  It is as important as ever to remain diligent about risk management.  As Independence Day nears and many communities planning special events to celebrate keep the following tips in mind to help protect your community.

COVID 19 numbers are rising in many places
For many communities that are providing fireworks displays, this event may be the largest gathering of people since the COVID-19 pandemic began.  At this point, the means of reducing exposure have been well communicated to the general public but please be sure to reiterate your communities’ specific regulations regarding wearing masks, social distancing and other prevention measures.  Some attendees may be traveling from other communities or other states and will not be familiar with your specific requirements.  Depending on the availability of space, your community may want to consider an alternative location this year that allows for more space to social distance.  Notify your community through social media channels, website, digital message boards, etc. your covid prevention requirements at the event, exactly when the display will take place and when the rain/wind back up date will be.  Remember that not all residents have social media so to be prepared for an increase in calls or complaints.

Assist your attendees in staying safe by:

  • Providing masks to those who need them
  • Mark safe distancing zones such as spray painting a circle on a field or marking parking lots with cones
  • Insist that staff set a good example by wearing gloves and masks
  • Continuously clean and sanitize concession stands and restroom facilities

Transfer the risk by hiring professionals
Hire a licensed contractor to provide the fireworks display.  Most states and local codes require a licensed and trained professional oversee the display.  In doing so, you help protect your community by transferring the risk to that company.   Make sure your contract requires the vendor to follow all state and local regulations.  The Fire Department should meet with the vendor to review all permitting requirements, display and monitoring procedures and clean up/post event inspection procedures.  Chances are if you are providing a firework display you have provided them in the past as well.  However, work with your Fire department to determine if any new codes have been put in place that you may need to communicate to the contractor.  Make sure that the contractor is following state fireworks related regulations and standards, and that your local code is not less restrictive.  Although the fireworks display provider typically will be prepared to monitor the debris fall zone, the Fire department should be prepared with spotters to monitor the debris fall zone.  In the event of an accident, your procedures and adherence to code may be called into question so be prepared to document your conversations with the contractor and all procedures that were put in place for the event.

To properly transfer the risk to the contractor, you must do the following:

  • Obtain a certificate of insurance from the display company with minimum limits in accordance with your local policy.
  • Obtain an indemnification agreement with the contractor to ensure any damage or injuries arising from the display are their responsibility.
  • Request to be placed as an additional insured on the contractor’s insurance policy.
  • Check with your insurance agent or underwriter to notify them that you will be providing the display and to ensure you have proper coverage in place.

Prepare for all scenarios
With many unplanned protests occurring across the country your community should be prepared in the event one starts during the celebration.  Staff that may not typically be present during this type of event may need to have training on what to do and what not to do.  Many police departments have had training on what to do if unplanned protests occur, but training should also be provided specific to this type of event where you could have a very large gathering.  Keep in mind that most of those who may attend a fireworks display may not be expecting any kind of protest so they may not be prepared, and communication will be key.  Tell those who are not protesting where to go and have a safe zone for them to gather with their families.  Most importantly, rely on your training to de-escalate situations so that all attendees and staff can enjoy the event and return home safely. 

This 4th of July will have more challenges than those in the past but do your best to plan and prepare for all potential scenarios to help ensure a safe holiday for your community. 


 

Reopening Summer Camps During the Pandemic?

The National Recreation and Park Association has developed a summer camp reopening tool. The purpose of this tool is to assist park and recreation professionals in making decisions regarding youth programs and summer camps during the COVID- 19 pandemic. It is important to adhere to all state and local guidance from health officials and others to determine the most appropriate actions.  But this tool is an excellent step by step approach to evaluating the feasibility of opening, maintaining safe operations, and monitoring the health and environmental conditions throughout the duration of the camp.  To access the toolkit go to https://www.nrpa.org/siteassets/path-to-recovery-framework-camp-tool-nrpa.pdf. 


 

Trident University: Now is a Great Time to Get Started

Trident’s online training platform, Trident University is a great way to provide important training to municipal, county, and school employees.  We have partnered with Local Gov U for many years and updated our program to maximize its impact and efficiency.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, or if it’s been a while since you visited, give it a look. This program allows you to upload local policies to better customize the training. The system allows you to save and print certificates and monitor your staff’s progress.  If you are interested in becoming a local administrator for your entity, or just register to use the program, please contact us at asktheriskmanager@tridentpublicrisk.com. 


 

Did you Know?

In the United States police K-9 units were first used in New York City in 1907. Prior to use in America, police dogs were used in Europe starting in the late 1800’s.  But, did you know that thousands of years ago Persian, Greek, Babylonian, and Assyrian cultures were the first to use dogs in policing?