CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WKRG) — The City of Crestview has partnered with U.S. Law Shield to proved legal coverage for police officers involved in use-of-force incidents. The city says it is more of legal protection than an insurance policy.

“So you’re walking down the street and somebody comes up and assaults you and you defend yourself and now you’re being claimed that you’re the assaulter. Well, did you assault or did you defend?” said Councilman Andrew Rencich. “They’re there to really help, and whether it’s a fist, whether it’s Mace, whether it’s a Taser, whether it’s a firearm. All you know is you’re defending yourself and they’re there to defend you.”

The city council unanimously passed the consent agenda Monday night, approving an expansion of police officer benefits to include reimbursement for U.S. Law Shield policies.

The City of Crestview will be expanding our employee benefits program to include US Law Shield. This
benefit will be offered to all employees. Employees in the police department will be reimbursed upon proof of membership. This program provides legal support, training, and education before and after use of force
incidents.

City of Crestview Staff Report

All city employees that wish to apply for U.S. Law Shied will be waived the registration costs.

The city council says this protection for the officers will allow them to focus on their job, rather than litigation.

“Their mind is always on their job,” said Rencich. “It’s not worrying about the white noise in the background.”

U.S. Law Shield is a Texas-based company that operates with memberships. Those with a policy can call U.S. Law Shield and get free legal advice and counsel for trials and lawsuits.

“So when he or she picks up that phone and says ‘I’ve got an incident’ or ‘I’ve got a situation’, even if it’s a non emergency situation. There’s another line where they can pretty much instantly have an attorney on the other line, and if something was to happen, they have an attorney at their side.”

Councilman Andrew Rencich

Councilman Rencich says he has been a personal member for years, having to use the service once.

“So I’ve been a member and my family’s been a member for a long time and you know, we’ve even used it at one point,” said Rencich. “On the nonemergency line and I had answers within 15 minutes, you know it once again gives you that Peace of Mind to where you can go back to doing your job, ’cause you’re not worried about you know everything else going on in the background.”

U.S. Law shield also provides education about gun laws and other use of force incidents. Learn more about U.S. Law Shield here.

Crestview PD Update:

Crestview City Manager Tim Bolduc announced Monday night that the Crestview Police Department is back to full staff.