Small Delaware town triples police liability insurance

July 17, 2021 GMT

DEWEY BEACH, Del. (AP) — A small Delaware town has opted to triple its police department’s liability insurance, noting a rise in civil rights lawsuits.

The Dewey Beach Town Council voted recently to increase the coverage from $1 million to $3 million, the News Journal reported Friday.

“I think it’s prudent for the town to consider upping the amount to protect us, so, God forbid, something happened we wouldn’t have to liquidate any town assets,” said Police Chief Sam Mackert during a July 9 council meeting.

Mackert said he’s been watching other towns across the country pay settlements far beyond Dewey Beach’s policy limit.

The town has a total budget under $4 million. The increase in coverage will lead to a hike in its premium. The town already had some money budgeted for it and will use funds from its real estate transfer tax to help make up the difference, the newspaper reported.

“You hope and pray that you never have to use it,” Commissioner Paul Bauer said. “But better safe than sorry.”