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One of the most critical tasks in law enforcement involves the use of tactical officers to accomplish high risk operations. While the success of these operations requires extensive training and proper equipment; success also requires sound decision making from the moment the decision is made to utilize a tactical response to a police event. The decision itself may even be scrutinized with twenty-twenty hindsight.

Over the last decade, tactical operations have come under the scrutiny of the courts. The scrutiny is largely the results of lawsuits filed against agencies and officers following a tactical operations. Much of the developing law can be found in reported decisions of the federal courts. The course utilizes the case-study approach in order to identify the important policy and practice considerations that will assist tactical commanders; supervisors and officers make legally defensible decisions without compromising operations during tactical events.

The program takes a three-tier approach. First, participants will be presented with the legal cases that impact tactical operations and ultimately, liability. Second, participants will be presented with policy issues that may be considered for implementation. Finally, the training turns toward the practical implementation of the legal and policy issues in a manner that does not compromise tactical operations or officer safety.

The course is unique in the fact that it takes a practical approach to legal principles impacting tactical operations and provides a road map to an operational implementation of the legal principles without hindering operations or compromising officer safety.

Upon Completion: Participants will gain knowledge in the following areas: Liability in Law Enforcement Operations: This session focuses on civil liability for individual officers in the various law enforcement tasks. Using the task oriented approach; the session will be limited to those areas that are also applicable to the tactical officer.

Agency Liability: This session reviews the law with respect to agency liability. Students will be presented with the law relating to civil rights claims brought against an agency as the result of an officer’s conduct.

Training: This session examines the law relating to an agency’s failure to train officers for recurring (foreseeable) police tasks.

Liability in Tactical Operations: This session utilizes the principles from the previous sessions in reviewing cases with direct application to tactical operations.

Selection and Training: Case review with respect to how selection of candidates for specialized tactical units may impact liability as a result of operations. The session will incorporate the legal implications of entry-level and on-going training for specialized operations.