Pooling in Practice: How one risk pool turned around a troubled police department


For people in the pooling world, news of a pool making a big, positive impact in their community comes as no surprise. From taking action after a devastating wildfire to keeping our schools safe, making a difference is all in a day's work for public entity risk pools.

Now, the power of pooling has found a more public spotlight thanks to a recent story on NPR’s Planet Money, which recounts how the Irwindale PD came back from the brink of dissolution and is now thriving thanks to a plan of renewal created by their risk pool.


Keys to Success in Irwindale

  • A willing partner open to change in the guise of a new police chief
  • Putting a price tag on bad behavior
  • Creation of an uncompromising performance improvement plan
  • Issue guidelines that are more strict than the law

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Further Exploration

How Insurance Companies Can Force Bad Cops Off the Job - The Atlantic

In exchange for coverage, insurers can demand that police departments implement new policies and training, and dismiss problem officers.

How Private Insurers Regulate Public Police - Harvard Law Review

This article describes and assesses the contemporary market for liability insurance in the policing context — in particular, the effects of insurance on police behavior.

How Public Insurers & Pools Can Positively Influence Police Operations - PRIMA Blog

In the last few years, the Federal Department of Justice (DOJ) has reduced their involvement in case investigations and engaging practice consent decrees against local police departments. With that oversight being reduced, the role of public entity insurers and municipal pools has taken on a larger role.

Police Accountability: A Case Study from Texas

From a presentation at the 2019 Governance & Leadership Conference, review how one pool has built a successful partnership with the Texas Chiefs of Police Association to foster a mutually beneficial relationship that fostered increased adoption and implementation of best practices in cities across the state.