In 2012, the Indianapolis Metro PD developed a comprehensive approach to responding to officer-involved shootings (OIS) and other critical officer incidents, with a dual focus on investigation and maintaining officer health. This holistic response has resulted in officers receiving pre-incident inoculation, post incident health related resources, completing a mental health check-up, fulfilling their investigative responsibilities and internal review, and returning to full duty-healthy- usually within a two week period after the incident.
The IMPD officer involved shooting and critical incident response model is segmented into pre-critical incident preparation and post incident 24 hour response increments: 0-24 hours, 24-48 hours, 48-72 hours, 72-96 hours and beyond. The model focuses on stress and trauma inoculation before the critical incident and responding to the officer post incident with a methodology involving triage and support resources. This preparation and response results in the officer being better equipped to survive a critical incident, assist investigators post incident, while also being pro-actively engaged in long-term healthy practices.
It is accepted that the law enforcement agency must prioritize the investigation of the OIS and critical incidents, and respond to public, media, internal and external inquiry. This responsibility does not have to come at the expense of agency recognition of the long-term psychological and physical health needs of the officer. The IMPD officer involved shooting and critical incident model partners the agency and the officer with internal and external resources to ensure the physical and mental health needs of the officer are being addressed long before the OIS or critical incident occurs.
The IMPD officer involved shooting and critical incident response model is supported by the agency and endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police representing IMPD officers. Based on its innovative officer wellness and resiliency programs which include the OIS and critical incident response protocol, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was awarded the 2015 Destination Zero Valor Award for Officer and Agency Wellness by the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
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“…Lt. Nieters’ ability to teach this class truly gripped me into seeing [that] I need a change. Hope to attend further training.”
-Patrolman, South Carolina
“Harry Dolan was one of the best instructors I have encountered in 28 years of service.”
“Chief Dolan seamlessly fused his knowledge of history, law enforcement and leadership to provide a wealth of information on this topic. Two days flew by, great course!”
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-Detective, South Dakota
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- Chief, Pennsylvania
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“I’ve sent 2 of my team members to Verbal De-Escalation. I’ve had it & it’s an amazing class. After encounters, I see the 180 degree difference in these young officers! I will petition to send all of them.”
-Attendee, North Carolina