Independent After-Action Reviews of Incident Responses – Technical Assistance

The National Police Foundation (NPF) believes that the most critical lessons learned and improvements in law enforcement come from thorough, independent, and critical reviews of incidents involving law enforcement response.

Project Overview

After-action reviews (AARs) can provide particularly objective observations, and evidence-based, actionable recommendations. When completed by independent experts who emphasize learning and improvement over assigning fault or blame, AARs can set the foundation for improved public and organizational policy, procedure, training and exercise.

When law enforcement agencies respond to a mass violence attack, mass demonstration, or other incident or event, NPF’s AAR & Technical Assistance (TA) Program can provide independent assessments of the event response and targeted TA to assist the agency with focus areas. The purpose is to provide an independent, thorough review of the practices, protocols, systems and decisions surrounding law enforcement and public safety partners and the community in order to identify lessons learned to inform the first responders involved in the incident, as well as public safety organizations nationally, and offer technical assistance in priority areas. The program provides services ranging from peer-to-peer exchanges to in-depth review and analysis, all in with the underlying values of assisting departments in evolving their preparation and response to similar incidents and events.

Methodology

NPF tailors the scope of the AAR, TA, and composition of the review team to fit each individual incident, public safety and government agencies involved, and the community, in an effort to provide a comprehensive understanding of the incident and the jurisdiction from a variety of perspectives. AAR teams are comprised of a diverse array of subject matter expertise with experience in areas such as law, tactical issues, mass violence incidents or management of mass demonstrations, trauma, and community activism, as well as NPF staff with experience and expertise in providing independent reviews.

Reviews harness the team’s combined knowledge and experience to analyze data, review public safety systems and protocols, assess policies and procedures, and gather stakeholder input. The team creates a comprehensive assessment report, with recommendations, promising practices, and lessons learned, and/or providing presentations to key stakeholders.

NPF conducts assessments and provides technical assistance that: promote organizational learning and transformation around specific issues identified in the process; cultivate communication among City stakeholders, law enforcement agencies, and public safety partners; strengthen relationships between police agencies and their communities through problem solving, engagement, and partnership development; and, serve to enhance the safety of communities.

Results

Our After-Action Review Library features numerous AARs conducted by the National Police Foundation and a variety of other organizations on a number of different incidents that have occurred across the country. These AARs are made available to help agencies prepare for future incidents.

Project Resources

Project Publications

Staff Contact(s)

Jennifer Zeunik

Jennifer Zeunik

Director of Local Programs

Frank Straub

Chief (Ret.) Frank Straub, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Mass Violence Response Studies

Media Contact

Media inquiries should be directed to our Communications team at:

media@policefoundation.org
202-833-1460

More Information

Project Status: Active

Project Period:  July 2013 -

Location(s): National

Research Design: Non-experimental, Review of research

Research Method(s): Focus groups, Interviews, Surveys, Literature review

Staff Contact(s)

Jennifer Zeunik

Jennifer Zeunik

Director of Local Programs

Frank Straub

Chief (Ret.) Frank Straub, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Mass Violence Response Studies

Media Contact

Media inquiries should be directed to our Communications team at:

media@policefoundation.org
202-833-1460