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What if Police Departments Can't Get Insurance?

Paul Carroll, Editor-in-Chief of ITL

While the debate continues about police departments in the U.S. and sometimes devolves into a national shouting match, insurers are starting to have their say, and their voice will be an important one. 

I've often said that no plan goes forward until the risk is dealt with -- you can talk about innovation all you want, but even Silicon Valley won't try something bold without insurance. Policing is no different. And insurers are starting to address police misconduct by doing what they do: raising rates to reflect the risks.

The costs of those risks have been heightened by the attention policing has attracted over the past few years and the changing attitudes that have resulted among many, including those on juries in civil lawsuits. So, those rate increases have a real bite and are starting to change behavior. 

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When I think of the potential for artificial intelligence, I hark back to my days at the Wall Street Journal, taking notes in my home-brewed shorthand in one of those long, skinny notebooks you may have seen reporters carrying around in their suitcoat pockets.

I still break out in a sweat when I recall interviewing the president of Mexico in the mid-'90s, in Spanish. I only knew how to take notes in English, so I had to translate on the fly, while still thinking about my line of questioning—and concentrating furiously so I would quote him so accurately that I wouldn't cause an international incident.

While AI would have been zero help back then, today it's remarkable. I just record an interview on my phone, and AI transcribes the conservation in real time with remarkable accuracy.

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