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Support for Critical Incident Response

Members of the RCMP responsible for commanding the critical incident response faced an overwhelming amount of information, while trying to understand a continuously evolving event. These unprecedented circumstances created pressures on individual Members to process, analyze, and communicate information, while making critical decisions.

This incident highlighted the limitations of the command post as currently structured and resourced. It showed that the creation of additional dedicated roles within a command post to improve a future response to a highly complex or prolonged incident is critical and that best practices be adapted to better prepare commanders.

These additional roles would allow better management of priorities amongst key Members of critical incident command and allow for more time dedicated to critically important tasks. Additional roles will also need to be paired with additional training and support for members of the command post, and more timely updates on information to Members to improve their own situational awareness and assessment of risk.

Examples of additional dedicated roles that should be integrated within the command post:

  • A dispatcher to transfer information more quickly
  • Criminal intelligence analysts and investigators to parse through information
  • Strategic communications professionals to facilitate better public updates
  • Second Risk Manager to support critical incident command with taskings
  • Dedicated scribes for key members of the team

Recommendation 22: The RCMP deploy an Operational Communications Centre (OCC) dispatcher to the command post as part of the critical incident package.

Recommendation 23: The RCMP deploy one or more trained analysts and Major Crimes Unit (MCU) investigators as part of the critical incident package.

Recommendation 24: The RCMP embed a communications professional within the command post from an early stage of a critical incident.

Recommendation 25: The RCMP deploy additional scribes in major critical incidents to support Risk Managers and other members of the command triangle, such as the Tactical Operations Officer. 

Recommendation 26: The RCMP endorse as a best practice that a second Risk Manager be called in to support the CIC in major critical incidents. 

Recommendation 27: The RCMP provide a summary of key up-to-date information during a critical incident, to be broadcast over the radio and through the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, at regular intervals so Members can maintain situational awareness and assess risk.

Recommendation 28: The RCMP continue to provide regular training on the command structure to frontline supervisors and general duty Members, to ensure that Members remain knowledgeable about recent changes in the policy governing the command and control of critical incidents.