Independent Review of Critical Incident Response – Technical Assistance

Project Purpose/Goal

The Police Foundation believes that some of the best lessons learned and improvements in law enforcement come from critical incident reviews. Reviews provide particularly objective observations, completed by independent experts who emphasize learning and improvement over assigning fault or blame. When law enforcement agencies respond to a high-profile event, major incident, or sensitive issue, the Critical Incident Response Program provides targeted technical assistance and an assessment of the event. The purpose is to provide an independent review of specific issues surrounding law enforcement/public safety and the community in order to identify practices and lessons learned that can have national implications. Services range from peer-to-peer exchanges, in-depth review and analysis, individual interviews with city officials and community members, and facilitated discussions and listening sessions.

 

Technical Assistance and Review Method

The Police Foundation tailors the scope of the technical assistance, and the composition of the review team to fit each individual incident, the police department and the community in an effort to provide a comprehensive understanding of the incident and the jurisdiction. Critical Incident Review teams are comprised of law enforcement and community subject matter experts with experience in areas such as response to active shooter scenarios or management of mass demonstrations.

Reviews harness the team’s combined knowledge and experience to analyze data, review policies and procedures, conduct interviews, and observe agency practices. The team then develops a comprehensive assessment report, with lessons learned that are available in the Police Foundation Critical Incident Review Library and on Police Foundation Incident Reviews website. The assessment and subsequent technical assistance efforts serve to enhance the safety of and strengthen the relationships between police agencies and their communities through problem solving, engagement and partnership development, and organizational transformation around the specific issues identified in the critical incident review process.

 

Current/Ongoing Critical Incident Review Sites:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte NC: Funded by the City of Charlotte, this comprehensive after-action project focuses on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) response to the protests that took place following the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in September 2016. The project will implement a community-driven methodology to share lessons learned and best practices with the City of Charlotte and CMPD and work together to move forward, and will also include a comprehensive after-action analysis of the CMPD response to the protests. The assessment will be available in 2017.

 

Previous Critical Incident Review Sites:

Orlando Police Department, Orlando FL: Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), this comprehensive after-action assessment focuses on the Orlando Police Department (OPD) response to the mass shooting that occurred on June 12, 2016 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The assessment will address OPD’s preparation and response to the mass shooting, strategies and tactics used during the incident, and how the OPD is managing the aftermath of the mass casualty event. Read the assessment Rescue, Response, and Resilience: A critical incident review of the Orlando public safety response to the attack on the Pulse nightclub and view the interactive report on the Police Foundation Critical Incident Review website.

James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Wilmington DE: On February 1 – 2, 2017, inmates at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC), a Delaware state prison, took staff hostage for a period of approximately 15 hours. During the hostage incident, one correctional officer died and others were injured. On February 14, 2017, Governor Carney signed an Executive Order initiating an independent review into the incident to determine what happened, and what actions can be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future. Governor Carney appointed two prominent Delaware leaders to lead this work as the Independent Review Team. The Police Foundation was selected to support the review by using its proven incident review protocol – conducting interviews, compiling recommendations, and drafting the preliminary and final reports for consideration and use by the Independent Review Team. Read the assessment Final Report: Independent Review of Security Issues at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

Kalamazoo Police Department, Kalamazoo MI: Funded by the City of Kalamazoo, this comprehensive after-action assessment focuses on the shootings of eight people on the night of February 20, 2016, allegedly perpetrated by a single individual. The assessment will triage individual and multi-agency responses to the incident; provide findings, recommendations, and technical assistance; and, monitor, evaluate, and support improvements in the response to local incidents. Read the assessment Managing the Response to a Mobile Mass Shooting: A Critical Incident Review of the Kalamazoo, Michigan, Public Safety Response to the February 20, 2016 Mass Shooting Incident.

Minneapolis Police Department, Minneapolis MN: Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), this comprehensive assessment focuses on the Minneapolis Police Department’s response to the protests and 4th precinct occupation that took place following the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark in November 2015. Specifically, subject matter experts will examine the entire period of the protests and police responses, including the 18-day occupation of the Fourth Precinct. The assessment will include analyses, document collection and review, observations, and interviews with government officials, community groups and various stakeholders. Read the assessment Maintaining First Amendment Rights and Public Safety in North Minneapolis: An After-Action Assessment of the Police Response to the Protests, Demonstrations, and Occupation of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct.

San Bernardino Police Department, San Bernardino CA: Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), this comprehensive after-action assessment focuses on the response to the terrorist attack that occurred at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, on December 2, 2015. The assessment critically, objectively and thoroughly examines the public safety response – including preparation and aftermath – to the terrorist attack.  The report identifies lessons learned regarding the responding agencies’ policies, procedures, tactics, systems, culture, and relationships; and guide other agencies and first responders as they plan to respond to similar incidents. Read the technical report Bringing Calm to Chaos: A Police Foundation Review of the San Bernardino Terrorist Attacks and view the interactive report on the Police Foundation Critical Incident Review website.

Southern California Regional Response, Stockton CA: Funded by the Police Foundation, this comprehensive after-action assessment focuses on the response of multiple Southern California law enforcement agencies to the attacks by a former Los Angeles Police Department officer in February 2013. The assessment examines policies and practices that policing agencies should consider modifying regarding regional responses and large-scale incidents. Read the technical report Police Under Attack: Southern California Law Enforcement Response to the Attacks by Christopher Dorner and view the interactive report on the Police Foundation Critical Incident Review website.

Stockton Police Department, Stockton CA: Funded by the Police Foundation, this comprehensive after-action assessment focuses on the Stockton Police Department (SPD) response to the robbery of the Bank of The West and subsequent hostage taking and vehicular pursuit in July 2014. Read the technical report A Heist Gone Bad: A Police Foundation Critical Incident Review of the Stockton Police Response to the Bank Of The West Robbery and Hostage-Taking.

 

Points of Contact

Blake Norton
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
(202) 833-1460
bnorton@pollicefoundation.org

Jennifer Zeunik
Director of Programs
(202) 833-1460
Jzeunik@policefoundation.org

 

Keywords:

Community policing; recruitment, selection and hiring; handling mass demonstrations; racial profiling; use of force; citizen complaints; fair and impartial policing

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