High Risk Warrant Operation Tactics




Jones, Michael C.

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



The profession of law enforcement carries inherent dangers and operations such as planned arrests of known violent offenders increases the dangers substantially. To mitigate these increased risks, operations need to be planned and executed considering the safety of all parties involved as well as legal, moral, and ethical standards. Tactical teams have regularly employed dynamic entry tactics for conducting these types of operations (Aaron, n.d. a). These tactics are often indiscriminately applied to circumstances that do not justify the risk to the officers and citizens involved in the operations (Howe & Pacillas, 2009). According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, 25 of the 231 law enforcement officers who were feloniously killed, and 103 of the officers assaulted in the line of duty between 2013 and 2017 suffered their injuries in tactical situations including high-risk entries (FBI, 2018). Additionally, a minimum of 81 civilians were killed by police in dynamic warrant service operations from in a similar time frame (Sack, 2017). Law enforcement units tasked with high risk search and arrest operations should limit the application of dynamic entry tactics to situations where innocent people are at risk of serious injury or death. High risk search and arrest operations by their very nature carry with them a higher degree of danger to both officers and citizens. Each year officers and citizens end up as casualties in these types of operations. The employment of dynamic entry tactics as the first, and sometimes sole, tactical solution to high risk search and arrest operations undoubtedly increases that danger. Planning and use of alternate tactics can reduce the deadly risk to officers and civilians while still preserving the intent of the mission.


Searches and Seizures, Police--Special Weapons and Tactics