Duty to Act: Legal Obligations vs. Community Expectations
There can be a conflict between the legal obligation to respond and the community’s expectation of response
By Anthony Mangeri
American Military University
Over the years, there have been several stories of public safety personnel, on and off duty, failing to meet the response expectations of their community. A recent incident in the District of Columbia involving the death of a man who collapsed near a fire station and not receive immediate aid, made it even more unclear if emergency responders have a legal duty to act versus an expectation by the community to aid those who seek help.
The term Duty to Act is a legal term that defines an individual or organization’s legal requirement to take action to prevent harm to a person or the community as a whole.
Events like the D.C. incident stirs debate about who has a legal duty to act and what that obligation actually means. More importantly, there can be a conflict between the legal obligation to respond and the community’s expectation of response.
Full story: Visit the In Public Safety blog
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