After-action report of Tampa Bay manhunt after shooting of two police officers

On June 29, 2010, at 2:15 a.m., the Tampa Police Department (TPD) suffered a tragic loss when two officers were shot and killed during a traffic stop. The suspect fled the scene on foot and evaded immediate arrest. The subsequent law enforcement response and multijurisdictional manhunt involved 22 law enforcement agencies and over 1,000 personnel during a 96-hour deployment that culminated in the arrest of the suspect. TPD established a multi-agency, Unified Command using the Incident Command System (ICS) to plan, coordinate, and manage the complex response, which included volunteers and donations from the community.

TPD asked CNA to analyze this event, with a focus on implementing ICS and incorporating community policing. The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) supported this analysis with specific interest in the role community partnerships played. Conducting after-action analyses by independent observers and making results widely available to other law enforcement agencies also allows for a reassessment of strategies, policies, and procedures, which can further lead to enhanced officer safety and the prevention of lives lost.

CNA conducted an objective, independent review of Tampa’s ICS operations to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Using event data, media reports, and interviews with personnel from the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and other local and federal agencies, CNA identified lessons learned that have applicability for law enforcement professionals nationwide.

CNA convened an expert review panel to review the findings and recommendations. This panel appreciates the professional leadership, cooperation, and honesty of the Tampa Police in sharing their internal information with the CNA analysts for the reconstruction and analysis process. We especially wish to acknowledge the leadership of Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio in keeping the focus of the response on community safety and the successful apprehension of a dangerous suspect, and for their participation in this afteraction review. The lessons learned and presented in this report will assist communities in planning for a similar large-scale, multi-agency response to an incident of indeterminate duration.