Law Enforcement Preoperative Risk Assessment
Category: Law Enforcement
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for my law enforcement friends. I want to talk about the importance of doing risk assessments before serving search or arrest warrants or conducting sting operations
We really won’t know how risky an operation is if we don’t systematically assess the potential risks ahead of time.
Now most of these tactical team members are aware of these types of assessments because they use them to prepare for high-risk operations. And most agencies have policies that require pre-operational risk assessments. But even if your agency doesn’t require them, I am encouraging all of you to do a risk assessment on any location where you’ll be conducting special operations.
These risk assessments are a pre-operational study of the people and locations you’ll be involved with. You should review information from past activities about people who live at or frequent that location. Is there a history of weapons use, mental illness, or drug use? Have they made threats against the police before? Are there innocent parties at the location, such as dependent adults or children you need to plan for?
And what about the location itself? Do you have the right address? Does it look like it might be fortified in some way? Are there animals such as dogs you need to deal with up front? Are there surveillance measures, like cameras, in place? If the location is spread out over a large area, do you have enough officers to cover everything you need to keep everyone safe? These are just a few examples of things you need to think about and plan for before conducting any operation.
You know I’m a big fan of checklists. Some departments have checklists that include other things to consider when assessing an operation’s possible risks. Whatever the case, we really won’t know how risky an operation is if we don’t systematically assess the potential risks ahead of time. So please, do your part. Work safely. Preparation is key. Your life and the lives of your colleagues depend on it.
And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.