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Tactical Response andOperations StandardforLaw Enforcement AgenciesNational Tactical Officers AssociationPublished April, 2018

NTOA TROS 2018COPYRIGHTNTOA SWAT StandardsCopyright 2008, 2011, 2015, 2018National Tactical Officers AssociationPublished April, 2018All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form orby any means electronic or mechanical or by any information storage and retrieval system nowknown or hereafter invented, without prior written permission of the National Tactical OfficersAssociation (NTOA), with the following exception:NTOA staff and training instructors are hereby given permission by NTOA to reproduce any orall of the contents of this manual for internal use within the organization or for training classes.No other individuals, private businesses and corporations, public and private agencies andcolleges, professional associations, and law enforcement agencies may print or download thispublication for commercial use without permission from the NTOA.Questions about this copyright information or about obtaining permission to use NTOAdeveloped publications may be addressed to the Executive Director at 1-800-279-9127. 2008, 2011, 2015, 2018 NTOA. All rights reserved.2

NTOA TROS 2018CONTENTSCopyright . 2Contents . 3NTOA Mission Statement. 4Standard Review Committee . 5Acknowledgements. 7Introduction and Objective . 8Sections1.02.03.04.05.06.07.08.09.0Scope of Standard . 9Defining Tactical Law Enforcement Operations . 10Tactical Law Enforcement Capabilities . 17Agency Policy Governing SWAT Teams . 31Crisis Negotiations Teams . 35Operational Planning . 38Multi-Jurisdictional and Regional SWAT Operations . 39Glossary . 40Supporting Documents .48 2008, 2011, 2015, 2018 NTOA. All rights reserved.3

NTOA TROS 2018NTOA MISSION STATEMENTThe mission of the National Tactical Officers Association is to enhance the performance andprofessional status of law enforcement personnel by providing a credible and proven trainingresource, as well as a forum for the development of tactics and information exchange. TheAssociation’s ultimate goal is to improve public safety and domestic security through training,education and tactical excellence. The National Tactical Officers Association operates in accordwith the principles of Veritas Probitas et Virtus (Truth, Honesty and Integrity). 2008, 2011, 2015, 2018 NTOA. All rights reserved.4

NTOA TROS 2018Standard Review CommitteeEd Allen .Training Program Manager, NTOA; Seminole County Sheriff’s Office (FL)(ret)Eric Daigle. Daigle Law Group LLC CT Principle – Executive Director/ General CounselNew England Tactical Officers AssociationChris Eklund. Sergeant, Orange County Sheriff’s Office (FL); President, Florida SWATAssociationThor Eells . Executive Director, NTOA; Colorado Springs Police Department (CO) (ret)Don Kester. Director of Training and Education, NTOA; Pima County Sheriff’sDepartment (AZ) (ret)Justin King . Special Agent, Drug Enforcement AgencyWalter Martin . Captain (ret), Frankfort Police Department (KY); Kentucky Tactical OfficersAssociationPaul Massock. Chief, Force Review Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms andExplosivesEd Mohn . Deputy Chief, Winthrop Harbor Police Department (IL); TacticalCommander, NIPAS Emergency Services Team; Vice President, IllinoisTactical Officers AssociationJason Mudrock .Committee Chairperson; Sergeant, Unified Police Department of GreaterSalt Lake (UT); Western Region Director, NTOABrian Mueller . Chief Deputy, Washington County Sheriff’s Office (MN); President, SpecialOperations Training Association of MinnesotaTravis Norton . Lieutenant, Oceanside Police Department (CA); Regional Representative,CATO 2008, 2011, 2015, 2018 NTOA. All rights reserved.5

NTOA TROS 2018Nick Schneider . Assistant Team Leader, Salt Lake City Police Department; President, UtahTactical Officers AssociationDoug Scholz . Sergeant, Chandler Police Department (AZ); President, Arizona TacticalOfficers AssociationIan Stewart . Lieutenant, Larimer County Sheriff's Office (CO); Immediate PastPresident, Rocky Mountain Tactical Team AssociationLuke Sherman . Sergeant, Tulsa Police Department (OK); NTOA Board of Directors,ChairmanJeremy Taylor . Officer, Kennewick Police Department (WA); Vice President, WashingtonState Tactical Officers AssociationMark Walker . Deputy Commander, SOG, United States Marshals ServiceDaniel Wesolowski . Sergeant, Milwaukee Police Department (WI); Past President, Associationof SWAT Personnel - WisconsinJohn Williams . Captain, Olathe Police Department (KS); Board Vice-President, Kansas CityMetro Tactical Officers Association 2008, 2011, 2015, 2018 NTOA. All rights reserved.6

NTOA TROS 2018ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThe NTOA Tactical Response and Operations Standard for Law Enforcement Agencies could nothave been developed without the combined effort of numerous dedicated SWAT operators andtactical commanders that are members of the NTOA organization. All member comments werereceived and taken under consideration by the Standard Review Committee.The National Tactical Officers Association also gratefully acknowledges the hard work andleadership of many of the state and national law enforcement association partners. Thisdocument and the critical work of these pioneers, served as a guide for this document.In addition, the NTOA Standard Review Committee recognizes the work done by theInternational Association of Chiefs of Police, Patrol and Tactical Operations Sub-Committee(IACP/PTO) on the SWAT Concepts and Issues Paper, October 2010, as well as the 2011 SWATGlossary document developed by members of the California Association of Tactical Officers(CATO). 2008, 2011, 2015, 2018 NTOA. All rights reserved.7

NTOA TROS 2018Introduction and ObjectiveThis document is the result of extensive efforts by the National Tactical Officers Association toprovide guidance to association members involved in tactical law enforcement operations. Theintent of this standard is to better prepare law enforcement to respond not only to emergencyand high-risk incidents on a daily basis, but also to respond to a terrorist attack.It is the position of the NTOA that the decision to form a tactical law enforcement resource,specifically a SWAT team, carries with it the responsibility to provide the ongoing training,equipment, leadership and financial support necessary to create and maintain an effectiveresponse capability. Integral to this responsibility is the obligation to deploy and operate theseresources in a manner that is consistent with Constitutional principles, with an emphasis onprofessional deportment under all circumstances.Where size and/or demographics limit the capabilities of an agency, this standard recommendsthat multi-jurisdictional resources be combined and coordinated in a manner which isconsistent with reliable and safe operations. Over the past 35 years, the National TacticalOfficers Association has assisted many law enforcement agencies in developing multijurisdictional teams by providing references, documentation and training to facilitate theirefforts. The NTOA remains committed and available to any law enforcement agency or itsmembers who require such assistance.The objective of this document is to establish a basic set of standards for the association’smember agencies and to serve as an efficient core set of concepts and principles that improvestandardization within the profession of tactical law enforcement services. Any agency thatchooses to use this standard as a benchmark for performance and operations does sovoluntarily. The NTOA does not mandate compliance with this standard or attach suchcompliance as a prerequisite for any benefit granted under membership. 2008, 2011, 2015, 2018 NTOA. All rights reserved.8

NTOA TROS 20181.01.0SCOPE OF STANDARDThe scope of this standard includes concepts and principles that relate to theorganization, training, operational tactics, personnel management andequipment of tactical law enforcement teams. The standard will not dictate howmember agencies will write and apply any specific policies as it relates to suchoperations, but rather provide guidance based upon the terminology andcollective viewpoint of the NTOA organization and its stakeholder partners. 2008, 2011, 2015, 2018 NTOA. All rights reserved.9

NTOA TROS 20182.02.1DEFINING TACTICAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONSThe NTOA recognizes that there are many types of specialized tactical teamsutilized in law enforcement and they are identified by a number of commonlyaccepted names. The NTOA offers this set of team titles and correspondingmetrics as guidance for its members.2.1.1Based upon the need to protect the public and ensure the safe delivery oftactical law enforcement services, the NTOA believes that a SWAT Tier 1 teammust be mission capable in ALL of the following areas:hostage rescue,barricaded gunman, sniper operations, high-risk warrant service and high-riskapprehension, high-risk security operations, terrorism response, specialassignments and other incidents which exceed the capability and/ or capacity ofan agency’s first responders and/or investigative units. The most resourcedemanding of these missions is clearly planned deliberate hostage rescueoperations. An appropriate number of personnel is necessary to rapidly andeffectively dominate a structure and have an adequate number of operators inplace for a failed breach. As an example, during a hostage situation occurring ata common residential structure, this would typically require a Team Commander(1) and Team Leader or Tactical Operations Coordinator (1) to run a commandpost, two Sniper/Observer Teams (4) to cover all sides of the structure, at leastfour Operators for containment (4), an Immediate Reaction Team of one TeamLeader and seven operators (8) and a comparable team of the same size (8) whois given time to plan and rehearse a deliberate rescue plan. Recognizing ofcourse that containment and immediate reaction functions can be sharedresponsibilities. This is also with the assumption that all team members arriveand the incident can be resolved in one operational period. Those teams that donot possess the appropriate number of personnel, but maintain all of thenecessary mission capabilities, are defined as SWAT Tier 2 teams. SWAT Tier 2 2008, 2011, 2015, 2018 NTOA. All rights reserved.10

NTOA TROS 2018teams may be faced with conducting emergency hostage rescue operations ifcircumstances require it.2.1.2Tactical Response Teams are typically formed to address one or more missioncapabilities other than deliberate hostage rescue operations, such as warrantservice, barricaded subject or some type of high-risk security operations.2.1.3Perimeter Control and Containment Teams are typically formed as an immediateresponse to an ongoing incident and primarily responsible for containing theincident, evacuations and establishing incident command.Figure 1TYPESWAT Tier 1 – asingle agency team,multi-jurisdictionalteam, regional teamor through an MOA.SWAT Tier 2 – asingle agency team,multi-jurisdictionalteam, regional teamor through an MOA.Tactical ResponseTeamPerimeter Controland ContainmentTeamCAPABILITIESAll mission capabilities inSection 3.0 of this standardand is capable of serving as aprimary SWAT mutual aidteam to another Tier 1 or 2team.All mission capabilities inSection 3.0 of this standard,except planned deliberatehostage rescues. Emergencyhostage rescue operationsonly.Can conduct any single orcombination of capabilitieslisted in Section 3.1.2 –3.1.6.Can conduct all capabilitiesof Section 2.3 of thisstandard.PERSONNEL*26 members1 Team Commander3 Team Leaders4 Snipers18 Operators19 members1 Team Commander2 Team Leaders4 Snipers12 Operators15 members1 Team Commander2 Team Leaders12 OperatorsAny number ofappropriately trainedpersonnel.* The personnel allocations depicted in Figure 1 represent recommendedminimums based upon typical residential applications. They were promulgated asa guideline with input and the concurrence of local, federal and international 2008, 2011, 2015, 2018 NTOA. All rights reserved.11

NTOA TROS 2018partners. Jurisdictional conditions including, but not limited to, topography,operational tempo and anticipated mission requirements may necessitatemodifications to these configurations.2.2Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and Tactical Re