The report’s findings were featured in national broadcasts on CBS This Morning and the CBS Evening News. Police Foundation President Jim Bueermann and Executive Fellow Rick Braziel discussed the pressing need for better regional communication and a way to control the tendency of officers to “self-deploy” to the scene of a major crime incident. The findings were supported by San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon, whose department cornered the suspect on the final day and engaged in a lengthy gun battle at a cabin in the remote San Bernardino Mountains.
Bueermann and Braziel were interviewed for the CBS segments by correspondent Carter Evans, who had provided dramatic footage at the cabin on the day of the shootout.
The report was also extensively covered in the Los Angeles Times, Riverside Press-Enterprise, and the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, whose papers include the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram and the San Bernardino Sun, among numerous others in Southern California and beyond. It also received full segments on most Southern California television stations in Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as the major news-oriented radio broadcasters.
Nationally, the Police Foundation’s findings were covered by the New York Daily News, and widely reported by the Associated Press, with stories appearing in PoliceOne, Police Magazine and LawOfficer.com, along with many newspapers and Internet sites across the country.
The Police Foundation has already had strong support for the report from the California State Sheriffs Association and the California Police Chiefs Association, which have called for new emphasis on training and technology to improve communication and coordination. Team members have met with California Office of Emergency Services officials, who intend to call for more training in using mutual aid pacts and major incident systems like the National Incident Management System.
The Foundation’s team spent nine months interviewing more than 100 officers, deputies, law enforcement leaders and others involved in the response to the murders and ambush of officers committed by Dorner in February of last year. The Foundation found that those involved overwhelmingly acted with bravery and professionalism in the face of a threat to their own lives and those of their families.
Other findings included:
- Agencies should develop comprehensive plans for regional response that includes procedures for communication and cooperation while operating in other jurisdictions. Regular inter-agency cooperation across county lines should be encouraged to develop ties that smooth working relationships during major incidents.
- Law enforcement leaders should carefully examine their self-deployment regulations, and explore how these policies could be adapted for regional events.
- As in other large scale responses across cities and counties, interoperability is a major challenge for law enforcement agencies. From examination of the Dorner events, communication between agencies contributed to confusion and delays in two officer-involved shootings during the incident.
- All personnel should receive regular training in major-incident response systems like the National Incident Management System (NIMS).