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Patrolling the New Homeland

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 33 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2005 Pages: 33-34,36,39
Al Baker
Date Published
May 2005
4 pages
This article discusses the nature and function of a law enforcement agency's Immediate Action-Rapid Deployment (IARD) capability.
Over the 40 years since the inception and rapid growth of SWAT teams, the mission of the first-responder patrol officer consisted of isolation, containment, and negotiation in order to allow time for the specially trained and equipped SWAT team to amass and respond, at which point first-response personnel were relieved of their responsibilities at the scene. This tactic is no longer adequate, given the rage and rampage killings that have been repeated in dozens of public schools and scores of workplaces. The threat of domestic terrorist incidents has further added to the range of threatening events that require an appropriate immediate response by law enforcement personnel. Such events require that before a SWAT team arrives on the scene, patrol elements trained in IARD must take quick action. Patrol personnel must be prepared with training and equipment to deploy rapidly and take aggressive, immediate action to stop any threat in progress. The tasks of first-responder patrol officers are to assess the situation and follow incident command protocols, requesting appropriate resources such as additional units; urban police rifle SWAT, and/or bomb squads; and medical or fire personnel. Other tasks are to determine whether immediate action or rapid deployment tactics are necessary, broadcast information to responding units, and assemble contact and/or rescue teams. Missions of the contact team are to make contact with the suspect and stop deadly behavior; limit the suspects' movements; prevent escape; communicate to the incident commander; provide victim assessments; determine the nature of weapons and other intelligence; and enter, locate, and rescue or recover victims. The IARD plan of the Leesburg Police Department (Virginia) is described.