Should Law Enforcement Agencies Apologize for Mistakes?

An apology for wrongdoing can reduce the potential for litigation and liability and also help maintain or restore public trust. Refusing to admit wrongdoing may cause greater problems than the wrongdoing itself. Most agree that public officials would be better off if they simply admitted their transgressions, apologized, and sought forgiveness. In recognition of these principles, some law enforcement agencies have developed standard operating procedures for use of apology and expressions of regret as risk management tools.