E.P.P. 12 Crisis Incidents
The purpose of this policy and procedure is to establish general duties and responsibilities of enforcement personnel when responding to situations that involve crisis incidents to include, but not limited to hostage situations or barricaded subjects.
Crisis incidents that present a threat to human life and all confirmed hostage or armed barricaded subject incidents may require the activation of the S.W.A.T. team for incident resolution.
- S.W.A.T. Team:
A multi-agency Special Weapons and Tactics team consisting of officers from various law enforcement agencies within Seminole County and managed by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.
- S.W.A.T. Team Activation:
The authority to call the S.W.A.T. team to a tactical situation rests with a Lieutenant or higher authority.
- S.W.A.T. Officer in Charge (O.I.C.)
The emergency services commander of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office designated as the “Officer In Charge” of all S.W.A.T. operations.
- Tactical Personnel:
Personnel assigned to the S.W.A.T. team who are responsible for surveillance, assault, high-risk arrest warrant service, counter-sniper and V.I.P. protection activities. Tactical personnel answer directly to specified S.W.A.T. team leaders.
- Crisis Negotiation Personnel:
Non-tactical personnel assigned to the S.W.A.T. team to communicate with hostages, hostage takers or barricaded suspects under the direction of the S.W.A.T. O.I.C
IV. FIRST OFFICER ON THE SCENE (DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND RECOMMENDATIONS):
- Direct the telecommunications section to place the primary radio frequency on “emergency traffic”;
- Confirm, if possible an actual crisis situation exists and determine the nature of the situation;
- Request assisting personnel as required, based on assessment of the situation;
- Verify the response of a patrol supervisor;
- Attempt to create an inner perimeter so as to confine the suspect to the immediate area;
- Attempt to avoid confrontation with the suspect in favor of controlling and containing the situation until the arrival of trained tactical personnel;
- Attempt to cordon off the area, using assisting personnel as they arrive;
- Establish a central command post away from the suspect’s view; have the telecommunications section advise all incoming personnel of the command post’s location, along with any streets or areas that may be unsafe for entry;
- Evacuate any injured persons if the situation permits;
- Direct the telecommunications section to request the response of fire/rescue personnel to a staging area location (even if there are no injured persons present);
- Request all persons having pertinent information regarding the suspect to remain at the command post for debriefing; designate an assisting officer to begin the information gathering process from complainants, victims, witnesses or other persons. Evacuate bystanders not involved as witnesses, if the situation permits.
V. FIRST SUPERVISOR ON THE SCENE (DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND RECOMMENDATIONS):
- Assess the situation and confirm that all duties of the first officer on scene have been carried out;
- Assume the command of the scene to ensure proper chain of command, and maintain said command until relieved by the O.I.C. or higher authority;
- The first responding supervisor will ensure the chain of command notifications have been completed along with the request for activation of the S.W.A.T. team;
- Direct all responding personnel to report to the command post for assignment briefing;
- Establish the radio channel(s) which will be utilized for communication during the incident;
- Strengthen and reinforce the inner perimeter as assisting personnel become available, and attempt to establish an outer perimeter for additional security and control;
- Assign personnel to cover exits and possible escape routes, being careful to station personnel so they are not susceptible to cross-fire;
- Determine the necessity to evacuate the location or area. If evacuation is necessary, attempt to evacuate any bystanders, persons in residences, schools or businesses;
- Gather and attempt to expand or verify intelligence information from the first officers on the scene. Intelligence notes should include as much as possible of the following information in order to effectively brief responding command personnel and S.W.A.T. team leaders. The information gathered, if possible should include the following:
- Location of the suspect;
2. Types of weapon(s) to which the suspect may have access;
3. Identification of the suspect, including a physical description, mental state and physical condition;
4. The suspect’s purpose, if known;
5. Nature of any crime committed by the suspect;
6. Identification of any hostages, including a physical description, mental state and physical condition;
7. The location of any injured persons and their physical condition; and
8. The location of available resources, to include the names and locations of all personnel assigned to the perimeter positions.
- Discretion shall be used before relaying any information over the radio if there is any reason to believe the suspect has monitoring capability;
- Identify a location away from the command post that may be utilized as a media assembly area;
- Monitor news media access to the scene in accordance with the General Order “Press Release Guidelines”.
VI. MULTIAGENCY CONSIDERATIONS:
- If a critical incident occurs as a result of criminal activity in another police jurisdiction, followed by fresh pursuit of the perpetrator by officials of that police agency into the city limits of the City of Longwood, concurrent jurisdiction with the pursuing agency is assumed.
- If a critical incident occurs as a result of criminal activity in the City of Longwood and fresh pursuit requires police department personnel to enter another jurisdiction or to leave the city limits of the City of Longwood, concurrent jurisdiction with the appropriate law enforcement agency having jurisdiction is assumed.
- Critical incidents involving two or more law enforcement agencies may be regulated by current mutual aid agreements.
- Critical incidents occurring in the City of Longwood or resulting in the perpetrator being in the city limits of the City of Longwood pursuant to fresh pursuit of another policy agency will require a unified command involving a Longwood Police supervisor until the incident is resolved.
- The telecommunications section should be utilized to assist with the establishment of communication links between the officers of the involved law enforcement agencies.
- The O.I.C. or ranking supervisor having command of a critical incident will retain such command until another law enforcement agency clearly demonstrates that jurisdictional responsibility is theirs and verbally assumes command of the scene.