Threat Assessment Matrix A Vital Tool for Warrant Planning




Long, Paul

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Arrest and search warrant service operations place officers in a higher degree of risk than routine police work. Proper intelligence gathering and planning not only reduce the risk of injury to the officer, suspects, and citizens, but also reduce the liability risk to the department. Knowing how to conduct the intelligence gathering process and what to look for is often a skill that is learned by trial and error or passed down through the ranks. Even veteran officers who routinely conduct these operations can overlook critical information resulting in dire consequences. A codified approach to determining what information is needed and what resources are required to safely conduct warrant service operations can save lives. All law enforcement agencies should develop a threat assessment matrix and a policy mandating its use for all pre-planned arrest and search warrant operations. The matrix will serve as a checklist for intelligence gathering as well as documentation of information known at the time the warrant was planned. These planning efforts will benefit the officers in making decisions as to what hazards are present and whether they can serve the warrant themselves rather than SWAT or other specialized units be brought in to assist.



Crisis Management, Emergency Management