Why apply science to law enforcement critical incident response?
It seems law enforcement activities are under more scrutiny than ever before. During incident reviews and court trials, incident commanders are often forced to explain why they made certain decisions. Note that any law enforcement officer, even first arriving junior officers, may be the de facto "incident commander" until relived by a supervisor.
Other public safety professionals who make tough decisions, such as paramedics and hazardous materials technicians, rely heavily on the science of anatomy and chemistry (respectively) to guide their decision making. What science do we as law enforcement officers rely on? If you were being questioned by a grand jury about your decisions at a critical police incident, what science can you cite as the foundational rationale for why you did what you did?
According to Sid Heal, author of such renowned texts as "Field Command" and "Sound Doctrine: A Tactical Primer", tactical science is "the systematized body of knowledge covering the principles and doctrines associated with tactical operations or emergency responses and reconciling scientific knowledge with practical ends." 
Whether we give it a formal name like tactical science or not, the study and application of principles such as "defining the commander's intent" and "out maneuvering a suspect" are keys to success. Tactical science is not lofty academic theory, but rather well-established and sound principles to help guide our decision making.
Consider an incident commander leading an operation to apprehend a dangerous suspect who has fled into the neighborhoods. His decision making may have a range of consequences such as: allowing the suspect to escape and therefore endangering the public, inconveniencing citizens by closing down streets, and even costing his agency lots of overtime expenditures as he brings in additional resources. How does he decide what to do and can he later justify his decisions? Fortunately, the incident commander is well versed in tactical science and makes decisions based on sound principles. He knows statistically how fast a suspect will run and how to employ an envelopment tactic to catch him. He knows how to most efficiently employ his personnel so his impact to the public and overtime cost is only what is necessary. He clearly defines his "commander's intent" to his personnel who quickly implement his plan and apprehend the suspect. If asked to explain his decisions he can point back to current tactical science books and training courses as the basis for those decisions.
Understanding tactical science or becoming a tactician isn't just for those assigned to SWAT teams. Anyone who may find themselves being an incident commander, even for a short time, can benefit from a basic understanding. That understanding doesn't automatically come with being promoted or having time on the job. Instead it comes with years of experience, attending trainings and studying the relevant literature from the experts.
Scott Savage instructs the Third Degree Communications course entitled "Response Tactics for Critical Incidents and In-Progress Crimes".
 Charles "Sid" Heal, Field Command, (New York: Lantern Books, 2012), 11.
In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.
This recall involves the EFLC1105 E-flite Ultra Micro-4, 4x9W, AC/DC Battery Charger from E-flite. The charger has four independently functioning charge circuits with a LED status display. Each port can charge one 30–150mAh, 1S UM cell, a 1S MCPX cell, or one 120–300mAh 2S pack equipped with a JST-PH, 3-wire connector. The charger measures 5 inches tall by 7 inches wide by 1.5 inches deep. The charger is blue with a gray, black and blue faceplate with white and black type. “Eflite Celectra UMX-$ Battery Charger” is printed across the center of the charger.
See the full details at CPSC
NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations plays a fundamental role in fire and explosion investigations. A new edition of NFPA 921 is scheduled to be published in 2014. For years, this document has played a critical role in the training, education and job performance of fire and explosion investigators. It also serves as one of the primary references used by the National Fire Academy to support its fire/arson-related training and education programs. It is imperative that investigators understand the scope, purpose and application of this document, especially since it will be used to judge the quality and thoroughness of their investigations.
SAN DIEGO - A Team 10 and Scripps News investigation found arson fires are not investigated properly in many American cities -- including San Diego -- due to a chaotic patchwork of reporting systems and standards.
Many deliberately set building fires are not reported to the federal government.
Nationally, just 5 percent of all residential building fires are intentionally set, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. Data collected by Scripps News suggests the national arson rate to be significantly higher.
This recall involves Nestlé three and five gallon cold and hot water dispensers. The units are white and silver in color and measure about 38 inches tall by 13 inches wide. Water is dispensed from the large plastic water bottle on the top of the unit through the machine by pushing on the paddles below that are marked with blue for cold water and red for hot water. The Nestlé Waters North America logo is on the front of the units. Only the following model and serial numbers are included in this recall. The model and serial numbers are printed on a white sticker on the back of the units.
Details can be seen at CPSC.
This recall involves indoor 2-light fluorescent light fixtures that range in size from 18 inches to 4 feet long. The fixtures were sold in white and can be mounted from heights between 8 and 12 feet. A date code between 182 11 (July 1, 2011) and 090 15 (March 31, 2015) is affixed to the fixture near the ballast in a DDD YY format. Catalogue and model numbers are located on the second line of a label affixed to the inside of the fixture. Catalogue and model numbers included in the recall: DLE217RLP, DLE217RLPB, DLE 232RLP, DLE232RLPB, SL232R, SL232R/1, SL232RPC, SL232RTP, SLNR232R, SLNR232R/1, SLNR232RCHR, SLW232R, SLW232R/1, SNF115R, SNF117R, SNF125R, SNF217R, SSF217R, WP217R, WP217RNKLLU, WP232R, WP232RLU, WP232RNKL, WP232RNKLLU and WP232RNKLRL.
Click here for full details from CPSC.
Almost every consulting engineer works with codes and standards on a daily basis, but do you know the difference between a code and a standard?
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Circular No. A-119, Revised, a standard is "[t]he definition of terms; classification of components; delineation of procedures; specification of dimensions, materials, performance, designs, or operations; measurement of quality and quantity in describing materials, processes, products, systems, services, or practices; test methods and sampling procedures; or descriptions of fit and measurements of size or strength." In plain English, a standard consists of technical definitions, procedures, and/or guidelines that specify minimum requirements or instructions for manufacturers, installers, and users of equipment. This can be done by specifying either the methods or the results; the latter is known as "performance specifying." Most importantly, a standard provides standardization or agreement within the industry, which translates to a common reference among engineers, manufacturers, and bidders.
Since the 1989 Montreal Protocol and its successor agreements, the world of refrigerants has been marked by change. In the search for more environmentally-preferable refrigerants, technology has moved from chlorofluorocarbons to a host of alternative substances. Many of these substances are serving as interim measures, until the phase-out of ozone-depleting and global-warming refrigerants meets the targets set by the U.S. Clean Air Act. The journey toward compliance has caused the HVAC equipment and appliance industries to revisit the potential use of substances that have good environmental and thermodynamic properties as refrigerants, but which are also, unfortunately, flammable.
This recall involves Cree LED T8 lamps used indoors to replace traditional two pin T8 fluorescent tubes. The white lamps have a cylindrical shape and measure 48 inches long. The affected units are marked as “BT848 Series Lamp” with the product part number on the lamp itself or printed on a white label affixed to the lamp. A four digit date code is printed on the lamp under a statement that reads “Compatible with Instant Start, Rapid Start and Dimmable Electronic Ballasts.”
Read the details at CPSC
IAAI President Peter Mansi welcomed everyone to the International Association of Arson Investigators 66th International Training Conference in Chicago, Illinois this past week, May 18th – 22nd. Around 600 attendees were on hand for a great schedule of classes during the week. Approximately 40 of those attendees were from Central America countries requiring translation throughout the week. CCAI Director Robert Rullan gave a presentation on “CSI” as part of the training as well as assisting with the translation needs of the students.
On opening day, CCAI’s 1st VP, Dale Feb, taught a four-hour class titled “Hearth Products Ignition Source or First Fuel Ignited”. CCAI Member Steve Carmen taught two two-hour classes; “Math for Fire Investigators” and “Elevated Fire Origin Research”. CCAI Member John DeHaan joined up with Instructors Chris Connealy and Kelly Kistner in presenting “Arson Convictions: Reviewing the Science – The Texas Experience”. Jamie and Cameron Novak were on hand to set things on fire in "Burn to Learn". Rounding out the week was Mike Bryant teaching "Investigative Interviewing for Fire Investigations. Many other instructors joined in the training and in all, four separate tracks of education were presented throughout the weeklong conference.
CCAI President Eric Emmanuel represented the CCAI Chapter at the “Presidents Reception” on Sunday night, again during “Opening Ceremonies” on Monday Morning, at the “Chapters Presidents Luncheon” on Tuesday, during the IAAI “Annual General Meeting” on Tuesday afternoon and at the “Awards and Installation Banquet” on Tuesday night. He was seen throughout the week engaging different individuals in conversations and promoting CCAI.
IAAI hosted a Vendor Room where approximately 30 different companies set up display booths and provided valuable information to the attendees. A very active Spousal Program visited some of the many sights and attractions that Chicago has to offer. Monday was spent at the Local Boutiques and Hummel Museum. On Tuesday, the highlight of the week, they visited the Chicago Fire Academy and Fire Museum. Wednesday and Thursday were spent exploring many of the hot spots around the “Windy City” including the Navy Pier, Sky Deck Chicago, Millennium Park and the Cloud Gate Sculpture, Art Institute Museum, Field Museum of Natural History, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium. The week included lunches at the Hard Rock Café, Rainforest Café, and many of Chicago’s authentic hot dog and pizza restaurants. Before departure on Friday, the group held a farewell breakfast at the hotel. Approximately 28 people participated in the Spousal Program.
During the IAAI “Annual General Meeting”, elections were held. Dan Heenan (Nevada) was sworn in as President, George Codding (Colorado) was sworn in as 1st VP and Scott Bennett (Ohio) was elected as 2nd VP. Darrell Sanders (Louisiana), William T. Moreland (Florida) and Kevin Crawford (Colorado), Chris Van Vleet (Kansas) were elected to the serve three-year terms on the IAAI Board of Directors. Joe Sesniak (Arizona) was elected to serve a three-year term on the IAAI Foundation Board of Directors, and David Snead (Texas) was reelected as president of the Foundation. Immediately following the election, nominations were opened for 2016. CCAI Board Member Robert Rullan was nominated to run for a Director Position next year.
CCAI members Troy Morrison, Jim Allen, Kathryn Varner, Don Perkins, Dennis Fields, Bill Kilpatrick and his wife Debbie, Tom Fee and others made a great showing for California Chapter 22.
Page 2 of 14
CCAI Advertisers enjoy unprecedented exposure to professionals in the public and private sector with tens of thusands of targeted visitors each year looking to arson.org for critical information on the state of fire and arson investigation in the United States and worldwide!
Banner ads should be formatted to 699 x 125 pixels, JPEG or animated GIF or Flash SWF, 100Kb or less.
Annual advertising rates available.
This is the official website of the California Conference of Arson Investigators.
The information published on this website is intended solely for educational purposes and is to be used as an advisory aid to members working to suppress the crime of arson and related offenses. It is also provided to assist in raising the level of expertise in fire investigation.
Articles herein express the views and opinions of the authors which are not necessarily those of the California Conference of Arson Investigators or its representatives. The Technical Publication Review Committee reserves the right to accept or reject any article, technical information or professional opinion submitted for publication on this site.
The acceptance of articles, technical information or opinions on this website does not constitute, and shall not be interpreted as an endorsement of the author(s), opinion(s), information or any product(s) included within this information. It is our intent to present articles and information from our peers to encourage profession discussion and debate among the CCAI members for the purpose of advancing knowledge in the field of fire science and investigation. Professional care should be used to confirm the accuracy of all content, opinions or supplied data prior to use for reference, consulting, and legal support.
All material submitted to CCAI and or posted or published by CCAI that is written, photographed, sketched, drawn, recorded or otherwise created by author(s) is copyrighted. As such, those materials are, and shall remain, the exclusive and sole property of the original author(s). All copyrights are reserved.
Utilizing information provided by CCAI implies that the User/Reader hereby agrees that to the fullest extent allowed by law, CCAI shall have no liability to User/Reader for any and all claims, actions, damages, or losses arising out of, or in any way related to User/Reader’s use of information provided by CCAI. User/Reader further agrees that in no event shall CCAI be liable for any claims or damages of any nature (including costs relating thereto) from such publication. Use of such information provided by CCAI constitutes User/Reader’s agreement with all these terms and conditions stated above.
Copyright© 2010. California Conference of Arson Investigators. SiteAdmin. Web Design by Todd Lando