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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Automated License Plate Readers Audits

Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR) are the law enforcement tools that run and check license plates of cars as they pass the reader, or as the police pass them. The departments that have readers are required to conduct an independent audit of their ALPR records.

Minnesota Statute 13.824 requires an independent audit of the law enforcement agency’s ALPR records every other year. And since the law requiring the audits was passed two years ago, many departments are coming on up conducting their audit for the first time.

The Officer of the State Auditors is available to perform the audits for departments with the readers. Law enforcement agencies interested in having the Office of the State Auditor conduct this audit should contact Greg Hierlinger at (651) 296-7003 or GregHierlinger@osa.state.mn.us

We have additional information on the audit requirement here on the League’s website.

Up next: Physical Exams for Firefighters

Stay safe,
Rob

Friday, September 1, 2017

EMAC: The Best Way to Avoid the Complex Liabilities of Self-Deployment

Perhaps like many of you, I’ve been glued to the television coverage of the flooding in Texas. A news report recently covered a local fire official asking for help from “anyone with a boat.”

Despite this televised request, self-deployment of fire and rescue assets can create some problems for both the sender and the receiver. Unrequested staff and equipment can quickly become a logistical burden for communities already in crisis. The League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) continues to recommend that self-deployment be avoided.

However, fire and rescue departments can check with the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) systema state-to-state agreementto see if Texas and its communities have formally requested the type of aid a Minnesota department can provide. If a city deploys under the EMAC agreement, there are certain protections in place under Minnesota law, including:

  • If you have a professional or other skilled license, certificate, or permit issued by the State of Minnesota, you shall be deemed licensed, certified, or permitted to render aid in the other state.
  • You are an agent of the requesting state for tort liability and immunity purposes.
  • You cannot be held liable if acting in good faith (without willful misconduct, gross negligence, or recklessness).
  • The State of Minnesota shall pay compensation and death benefits to injured employees.
  • The State of Minnesota shall be reimbursed for its expenses by the state receiving assistance.

In self-deployment situations, these protections likely will not exist.

Currently on the EMAC system, there is a request for 100 Swift Water Rescue and Search and Rescue (SAR) teams. For more information, contact Cassie Calametti (DPS)  at cassie.calametti@state.mn.us

Up next: Help With License Plate Reader Audits

Stay safe,
Rob

Monday, August 21, 2017

Ford to Repair U.S. Police Vehicles Following Carbon Monoxide Concerns - A Guest Blog by LMCIT Loss Control Field Service Manager Joel Muller

Headlines like this may be causing concern if your police department has these vehicles in its fleet. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas which can be deadly. Exposure to elevated levels of carbon monoxide can include headache, dizziness, weakness, vision problems, sleepiness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

In a statement issued by Ford Motor Company, the organization said it believes the cause of the problem may be tied back to the after-market installation of various police equipment. Ford believes that improperly sealed holes caused by these installations may be the source of carbon monoxide leaking back into the vehicle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is also investigating and has been looking to determine how widespread issues with the Ford Explorer SUVs may be. The agency recently expanded its investigation into 1.3 million Explorers from model years 2011-2017.

So what can you do while this investigation is still pending? If you have a Ford SUV in your police fleet, or if your Fire Department has them in theirs, check inside the cab for carbon monoxide levels.

Guest blogger/LMCIT Loss Control
Field Service Manager Joel Muller
Carbon monoxide detectors are readily available at most retail stores. A typical household carbon monoxide detector can be used for this purpose, but they are somewhat bulky. Another option is a carbon monoxide monitor, which is the size of a standard key fob. Some models may plug into a power port on the vehicle dash, eliminating the need for a battery. There are various manufacturers of these units, which can be easily found online. Your fire department may also already have this equipment.

If the alarm on one of these units does sound, you may want to consider blood testing the officer for elevated levels of carbon monoxide. The table below will provide some guidance as to when blood testing for the officer should be considered:

Level of CO        Health Effects and Other Information
0 PPM                 Normal, fresh air
9 PPM                 Maximum recommended indoor CO level (ASHRAE)
10-24 PPM          Possible health effects with long-term exposure
25 PPM               Max TWA exposure for 8-hour workday (ACGIH)
50 PPM               Maximum permissible exposure in workplace (OSHA)

For additional information on this issue, see the links below:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/02/news/companies/ford-police-carbon-monoxide-auburn-austin/

http://www.fordproblems.com/trends/carbon-monoxide/

https://www.autoblog.com/2017/08/09/ford-carbon-monoxide-leak-holes-explorer-police-interceptor/

https://www.policeone.com/legal/articles/365839006-5-things-to-know-about-the-Ford-carbon-monoxide-hazard/

http://www.ksfy.com/content/news/Law-enforcement-install-carbon-monoxide--437962723.html 

Up next: EMAC—The Best Way to Avoid the Complex Liabilities of Self-Deployment

Stay safe,
Rob