Well, the debate and pontification about ICS and Law enforcement (LE) has gone on for decades. Many of the comments over the years are warranted. In today's climate however the need for ICS in critical incidents, multi-faceted incidents, and extended time frame incidents has never been greater. At my firm, The Blue Cell, LLC we were fortunate to have cultivated a series of relationships in the State of South Dakota over the years. When the challenges of the 75th Sturgis Rally came to light our humble little firm, based in the Denver Metro Area of Colorado was tasked to support the consequence and crisis management situational awareness challenges as a contractor to State OEM. We worked and coordinated with all levels of law enforcement, sheriffs, special operations and corrections across numerous jurisdictional lines.
As a team we applied lessons learned from previous planned events like the 2008 Democratic National Convention and the other work specific to the Hell's Angels USA run and others.
Here are three takeaways specific to Law Enforcement usage of ICS.
1. Law Enforcement can write reports, so to train to write something called an IAP, it's no big deal. The catch, there has to be a reason for writing it more than just to be NIMS compliance. Compliance is not a motivator or a good reason for a cop to have to fill out another piece of paper.
The IAP is for the tactical supervisors in operations to assist them in doing a job in the next operational period.
2. Not unlike the National Guard and Military, LE has strong in place structures of managerial control. Adaptation of those existing controls is a much harder sell for LE. We turn to ICS as a management structure to better accommodate issues of multiple agencies and multiple disciplines needing to work under a single structure. The book says the day to day titles go away. Being smart about the assignment of those in the structure is essential for the LE mission to be able to move forward with tactical confidence. (Here is a current example in the news of how policy changes adjust the mission of Law Enforcement NEWS STORY VIDEO)
Stressing the concept of Unity of Command is critical in LE missions using ICS.
3. Intelligence and Investigation as a position can be in up to 4 different places in the ICS Structure. It is more than a fancy slide in a presentation. When information protection is at its highest, this capability assists LE agencies in having confidence in processes that LE leaders know will be critical long after the cool colored vests are put away. LE operations have to always protect the ability to enforce laws, charge individuals and go through full court processes.
The Intelligence and Investigation positions should be put in place at a minimum on the command staff to advise the IC and AA on matters related to Court processes and to advise on the need for additional I/ I positions in the ICS structure.
As of this writing The Blue Cell, LLC has been awarded a sole source contract to provide a LE experienced and fully qualified by ICS position, IMT to the State of South Dakota for the Keystone Pipeline construction. Beginning May 3rd, we kicked off an extensive ICS position specific training series for the Portland Police Bureau.
Todd Manns, Founder and Managing Partner at The Blue Cell, has worked on a variety of specialized projects over the course of a varied and diverse career. Recognized for having a “can do attitude” which is the result of strong personal beliefs and values with regard to leadership, mission orientation, and accomplishment. Todd began his career in the United States Marine Corps Select Reserves. He served as a Police Officer / SWAT Team member and law enforcement sniper, as an interim Chief of Police, and seven years as an Emergency Manager for a Fire Protection District. Formally qualified as a type III planning section chief with incident management team experience and over 25 all hazard deployments to both Incident Command Posts and Emergency Operations Center locations (local and state level). Todd, his wife, their married adult children and 5 grandchildren live in Colorado.
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