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Training for the commander: investigating the need for training of police command personnel in management of high risk situations
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Even though there is a good deal of literature published on the training and need for training of specialized police units to respond to tactical situations, little seems to be said about the overall command of these units in responding to crises. The public expects a high level of expertise in management of such situations by police agencies. Achieving that level of expertise requires learning through experience or training. Tactical situations, while becoming more frequent, are still rare enough to preclude a high degree of experience. It was suggested by the researcher that there is a direct and positive relationship between the existence of specialized training for commanders and the satisfaction level with tactical response in police agencies. To evaluate this hypothesis, answers to the following questions were sought: 1) To what degree are tactical unit commanders satisfied with the management of tactical operations?; 2.) To what degree are the chief executive officers of police agencies satisfied with the management of tactical operations?; 3) Is specialized training in management of tactical operations provided for Situation Commanders?; 4) Is the degree of satisfaction with tactical operations higher for chief executives and tactical team commanders in those agencies which provide specialized training for commanders than in those agencies which do not? In reviewing prior literature, numerous articles and books about tactical operations, selection, organization, training and tactics of SWAT teams were located. Very little of the written material was specifically related to training of commanders. To seek answers to the questions listed above, a written questionnaire was used. Questionnaires were mailed to the chief executive officers and tactical unit commanders of agencies being studied. The results of the questionnaire indicated there were differences in the levels of satisfaction with tactical operations between chief executives and tactical commanders, and differences in levels of satisfaction for both groups when training was given to Situation Commanders as compared to when it was not. The researcher concluded that Situation Commander training is already perceived as important by both chief executive officers and tactical unit commanders in agencies participating in this study.
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Severn, Dan Herbert (1994). Training for the commander: investigating the need for training of police command personnel in management of high risk situations. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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