Welcome to TacticalDebriefs.com PDF Print E-mail

"Every operation is a new and novel event, requiring its own analysis and planning.  The selection of appropriate tactics for mission accomplishment reduces risk." - Steven "Randy" Watt


"Realistic, complex scenario-based training that includes the full range of physical and mental tasks an officer is required to perform in a deadly confrontation, up to and including the recall and reporting of critical scenario details, is essential to improving an officer's performance and resiliency following such encounters. Repetition, then, further increases motor memory and mental processing as well as provides for positive practice of these critical perishable skills. Realistic training, which includes the unexpected, also reduces an officer's tendency to overanticipate and preemptively react with a pre-programmed response when a novel response may be more appropriate, thereby enhancing mental, interpersonal, and physical adaptability." (U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 2005).


"The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure."  - John C. Maxwell

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"Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit." -C. William Pollard



Comments to TacticalDebriefs.com; "Just wanted to say thanks for your efforts and thoughts on these sad events. I use [the information in the e-newsletters] in my daily patrol and department briefings and training."

"Thank you for performing this valuable service, and for your diligence in making sure this information is disseminated to those who value and respect it and protected from those who do not. I can assure you that your debreifings will be utilized in a meaningful and respectful manner by our SWAT operators and TEMS officers."

"I personally want to thank you for providing a platform for others to learn from what others have done. We all owe it to each other to be the best we can be. Your platform allows just that."

"I enjoy your reviews and do my best to find time to watch them to keep me up on processing critical threat incidents even though I'm working inside now. Thank you for your work!"

"Thank you for your efforts and info that you put out. We review pretty much every one as part of roll call. We use the information as constant reminders to stay sharp so we stay safe. Just wanted to let you know that your efforts are appreciated and used as part of our direct effort in keeping our officers safe."

"I appreciate all of your hard work in putting together the timely briefs and lessons learned in your articles. As the FTO commander I often use those lessons learned to further our FTO program and to try and improve the agency's officer safety thinking. Keep up the great job."

"I just found your websiste.  I have not stopped reading these briefs for 4 hours.  This informaiton  is wonderful.   I work at a very small police department in California so this information is very limited to me.  I am going to share this information with the rest of my department.  Thank you for posting it and thank you making it not available to just anyone.  I appreciate it and understnad the important of learning from these encounters whether they have a positive outcome or negative outcome.  Thank you again!"

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"Each day we do not share lessons learned from a critical incident, it is a day the same critical incident may occur again."

Welcome to TacticalDebriefs.com where my goal is to provide debriefs of critical and significant incidents to law enforcement personnel with lessons learned related to planned or spontaneous tactical operations, high risk patrol encounters, K9 deployments, and specialty unit operations. The success of this site will be determined and dependent upon its submissions and visits to view the respective debriefs. This site is restricted to law enforcement personnel. Registration required.

Please read the history and important background about this web site…..

The primary purpose and objective of TacticalDebriefs.com is to save lives and prevent injuries during tactical operations and patrol encounters by serving as a facilitator to share critical lessons learned via incident debriefs related to actual operations and other high risk incidents as well as periodic emails to registrants containing news articles and facilitator comments related to other critical incidents. The debriefs are submitted online by tactical teams, K9, patrol personnel, and specialty units. These debriefs can include training debriefs where critical errors or simple mistakes occurred. The information contained within TacticalDebriefs.com is intended strictly for and restricted to active or retired law enforcement personnel.

Challenge_Coin_-_Tactical_Debriefs Challenge_Coin_-_TacticalK9USA

Above: The "original" TAC Team Challenge Coin from Delta Challenge Coins

Members and organizations within our tactical community currently do an outstanding job of promoting camaraderie and providing some excellent information sources, conferences, magazines and forums involving tactics, equipment, and training, with the arguable exception of sharing within this same community timely and widely-distributed tactical debriefs that include significant and critical lessons learned. It is a rare occurrence when an important debrief is shared in a timely manner with tacticians and patrol personnel across the country.

We have almost immediate access to the basic, reportable “news” facts of a critical incident via the Internet and local media, but the majority of us don’t get our “tactical questions” answered about what specifically went wrong and the critical lessons learned for days, months, and often years. And, there may be important information available today from a previous incident that might benefit your team when you deploy for an operation tomorrow. Each day we do not share the lessons learned from a critical incident, it is a day the same critical incident may occur again.

In the past, the reluctance to share tactical debriefs outside of one’s own agency, particularly lessons learned involving deaths and critical errors, was primarily attributed to protecting the rights of the law enforcement personnel involved, preserving the integrity of criminal proceedings, and the likelihood of civil claims and lawsuits. We also don't like to admit our mistakes - particularly when officers are killed.  Tactical leaders, attorneys, and advocates for the timely sharing of this information did not want to assist the (potential) Plaintiff’s case by publishing questionable or confirmed tactical discrepancies related to an incident, regardless of the benefits in doing so to prevent similar incidents. Another deterrent of formally sharing tactical debriefs in writing was determining the proper forum and method of sharing the information so that it did not become a single source or database of information that may be subject to a subpoena.  But, what are the consequences to others when we don't share critical lessons learned that may save lives?

The Internet appears to be our fastest and most cost efficient way to share timely information, but limiting accessibility is a concern, particularly if sharing information is deemed to be either sensitive or confidential. TacticalDebriefs.com does not solicit nor encourage discussion or descriptions of specific tactics or information deemed to be confidential on this site because the slim posssibility exists an unauthorized access could occur, though we attempt to prohibit that access through the registration process. This site operates as if information contained herein could possibly be accessed by the public. Therefore, those tactical and specific technical discussions should occur in person or off-site. However, information contained herein for the purposes of sharing lessons learned with law enforcement is not anything that should be considered confidential and could not be accessed at some point through routine legal remedy or readily accessible via public information by members of the public, a Plaintiff or a criminal defendant.

After researching, browsing and consulting, I believe our format for sharing tactical debriefs limits any associated liability of teams and their respective agencies submitting debriefs with respect to any pending actions or time limitations. If a team believes lessons learned from their incident today are significant, the benefits of sharing this information quickly and thoroughly with others through TacticalDebriefs.com should be seriously considered, including the option of submitting information that will be modified to a less specific or nonspecific format.

Upon request, TacticalDebriefs.com can modify the specific debrief to a nonspecific narrative similar to this opening; Within the past five years, a SWAT team for a municipal police agency in Oregon was assigned to serve a high risk narcotics search warrant in a low-income housing development in its city. A felony arrest warrant also existed for Suspect #1, who was a parolee and also had an extensive criminal history. After the knock-and-notice was given, and after approximately 15 to 20 seconds without response, Operator #1 (assigned as the scout) entered the premises after Operator #5 breached the front door using a ram device. Operator #1 immediately observed Suspect #1 standing in the living room with his hands visible and clear, and ordered the suspect “Freeze, don’t move.”

The overwhelming majority of tactical operations and high risk patrol incidents are resolved successfully and the lessons learned are limited and most often positive based on the performance. Unfortunately, some of our best tactical lessons learned involve incidents where serious mistakes are made and people often get killed or seriously injured. In that context, TacticalDebriefs.com is seeking those debriefs where the critical lessons learned are significant and will contribute to the betterment of our profession. We all want to know what went wrong and share that information so wrong doesn't happen again. We want to know what went right and share that information as well. There will be no time limitations in years on debriefs submitted so past lessons learned can be as important as those learned today. However, we should be curious to see if current debriefs will be more on point based on recent training, recruiting, information sharing, and case law.

"Successful or not, every tactical operation yields fruit in the form of lessons learned."  - Charles "Sid" Heal from Field Command

The debriefs shared on TacticalDebriefs.com are not intended to replace “live” tactical debriefs presented by team members and/or other persons at training conferences, training sessions, or meetings where tactical information is being shared firsthand - they are a supplemental resource.

Because TacticalDebriefs.com is the first tactical debrief sharing source of its kind, I'm still committed and expect to be flexible and adapt as necessary to properly and legally maintain the site and better serve the tactical community.

UPDATE: Since November 2010, I've been sending out periodic emails to registrants of this web site related to news articles about critical incidents across the country to serve as a one method to prepare for similar situations by using some of the information within the articles to prompt a discussion or training table top exercise applicable to one's own agency.   Additionally, I've sent out via email bulletins and articles related to officer safety along with facilitator comments now and then.

TacticalDebriefs.com is not maintained for profit and registration is free to eligible law enforcement personnel. Any advertising revenues accumulated will be used to offset the cost to maintain this site and distribute its e-mail newsletters along with the marketing efforts deemed necessary to bring attention to the site as well as attract new submissions to the site. The success of this site will be dependent upon its submissions and visits to view the respective debriefs. The site operates unders the auspices of Training and Consulting Team, LLC (TAC Team). TAC Team is owned and operated by Sergeant Bill Lewis II (Retired) who also serves as the primary facilitator for TacticalDebriefs.com.

I hope you enjoy TacticalDebriefs.com and learn a lesson or two...

Bill Lewis II

REGISTER: If you have not already done so, you may request access to the site through our registration process now by clicking on "Create an account" next to LOGIN above to the left.

Information and Disclaimer: TacticalDebriefs.com commits to facilitating and sharing tactical debriefs along with lessons learned in a timely manner based on the information submitted via its web site that is intended strictly for law enforcement personnel. TacticalDebriefs.com is not a database of tactical debriefs nor is responsible for the retention of tactical debriefs submitted whether or not the debriefs were subsequently posted. TacticalDebriefs.com is not responsible for the accuracy nor authentication of information submitted and contained within the posted debriefs, although efforts may be made on behalf of TacticalDebriefs.com to verify submitted information. The selection and posting of tactical debriefs are made at the sole discretion of TacticalDebriefs.com and TacticalDebriefs.com reserves the right to edit and summarize submitted material as it deems appropriate. Although TacticalDebriefs.com is intended strictly for and makes efforts to restrict access to law enforcement personnel, it is possible that the public or attorneys could gain access and view the information contained herein. Posted 4/3/2009.

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TacticalDebriefs.com is dedicated to the memory of Oxnard PD SWAT Officer Jim Jensen (EOW 3/13/96).
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