Moving Home Page Forums Operational Leadership SWAT Command Decision-Making And Leadership I: Federman v. County of Kern Do you ascertain if articulable facts exist prior to any escalation?

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    • #4570
    • #6360
      mmWayne Griffin

      Ascertaining whether articulable facts exist prior to any escalation of force is vital. The team leaders need to have that conversation with the commander prior to any escalation of force. It has to be explained why an escalation of force is needed. This will come in the play if the case goes to court. You will have to justify your actions.

    • #6485
      mmDrew Leblanc

      I think this boils down to communication and chain of command understanding. There should be guidelines set for each operation and those guidelines should be followed, but there always could be secondary factors that alter the scene. The team leaders should be trusted to make the right decisions in leading their teams on the scene. Yes, the commanders should always be in the loop of the situation but sometimes you have to trust you trained your people to do the right things. Our job is to make them ready not micromanage their decisions.

    • #6694
      Jeffrey Brown

      We will aways determine if there are articulable facts to support an escalation we initiate. We tend to have several meeting of the minds with several keys leaders to better understand the situation from different angles and kick around our options. I expect my key leaders to participate in the discussion if we have time to have one. If the situation is rapidly evolving, decisions will be made based on the information we have at the moment. In our structure as a multi-jurisdictional team , the Chief Officer or his designee is the incident commander, with the SWAT commander as an advisor. We are there to provided the incident commander with options and advice. They will generally expect me to supply them with articulable facts when I present them with tactical options, especially when escalation is my recommendation.

    • #7685
      mmJacob Taylor

      Yes, to the extent you can discuss them and verify the actual problem that exists. Once facts are established, any escalation must be reasonable for the given circumstances. If there is no time to discuss, I trust that my teammates will make the right decisions under the circumstances.

    • #7738
      Anthony Kies

      In short yes, as the situation unfolds we continue to document our intelligence and make our decisions based on the articulable facts that we know.

    • #7751
      mmChris Eklund

      Whether at the CP or in the front yard all initial decisions and “what if” decisions are based on the articulable facts as they become available.

    • #7959
      Max Yakovlev

      We always ask..’why now and how does this help us.” articulable facts will need to confirmed prior to escalation of force.

    • #8072
      Adam Bradford

      This is of the utmost importance. Prior to any escalation of force, it needs to be explained why the force is needed. If you cannot justify it, then you wait and continue to work the problem until you can articulate why you need to escalate.

    • #8327
      Jon Thompson

      Yes. One of the questions we ask on barricades, for instance, is how likely is it that the suspect is still even at this location? Could he have slipped out before patrol locked down a good perimeter? After that, we will use anxiety manipulation tactics such as NFDD’s on the exterior, sirens/PA’s and SWAT rocks to keep the suspect’s attention. Once we have a signed search warrant at the command post, and the command group has read and verified the warrant, we will escalate to more intrusive means, such as breaching a door or windows.

    • #8347
      Jesse Laintz

      It is necessary for a tactical leader to put their thoughts in articulable facts before an escalation of force is done, as long as time allows for such thought and articulation. Do a quick risk assessment. Be able to put in writing why you are doing something and back it with information that is known at that time. Do not use “might dos” and “what ifs”, they will get you in trouble. Review the three considerations provided in Graham in their risk assessment; the severity of the suspected criminal activity, did suspect pose an immediate threat to officers or others, and
      is the suspect actively resisting or attempting to evade arrest by flight. Do not put the suspect in any “state-created-danger”. Put these thoughts in writing and put them in the supplemental report or the AAR so they are written down.

    • #8486
      mmShawn Wilson

      What is the mission and objective in an operation; each is different and comes with their own set of variables. A well trained and educated team understands what is required of them as individuals and as a team. As a Team Leader do I lose the initiative when micro-managing each movement on a operation and before any use of force utilized has to be signed off on by higher; or do I allow a well trained and educated operator who sees a solution to a problem and solves it without having to ask for permission.

    • #8490
      Thomas Carroll

      Yes. Prior to our team’s activation all articulable facts are outlined for the team commander prior to the team’s activation. The intelligence cycle is always working so its always good to ensure there are no changes to the situation prior to escalations. Once escalation begins we ensure we implement tactical pauses between actions to assess for changes to the situation.

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