Police Critical Incident Checklist

This section contains a checklist to prepare police officials for responding to a critical incident that has the potential to result in controversy or conflict involving the police and a community. Because a critical incident typically requires a police department to quickly undertake a wide range of actions, straining the capacity of the department, a checklist can help to ensure that officials consider all potential options ahead of time, and that certain tasks do not “fall through the cracks” during an incident. This checklist is not meant to be a comprehensive list of steps or a rigid timeline for a police response, but rather is intended to serve as a guide to many of the issues that police should consider before, during, and after a critical incident that results in community tension. The immediate response of a police executive can determine how the community will respond to an incident, and can set the tone for the department’s ongoing relationship with the community in the long-term. This checklist emphasizes actions that can help calm tensions and demonstrate good faith to the community.

Federal Sponsor Agency: DOJ Community Relations Service

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