Criminal Justice - Cim Training Term Paper

Total Length: 823 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

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In this regard, the law enforcement community has begun implementing scenario-based strategic planning in the nature of that used by American military strategists since the Cold War. Interagency strategic planning now includes scenario-based training wherein the specific components of local, state, and federal agencies charged with responding to critical incidents participate in joint exercises simulating the foreseeable demands for their joint services (Koestner 2006).

Benefits and Potential Difficulties:

Scenario-based tactical training in law enforcement has undoubtedly improved the safety of officers, subjects, and victims at crime scenes by conditioning officers to respond reflexively after hours of repetitive simulated tactical exposure (Lynch 2005). In the case of strategic planning, operational synchronicity and resource implementation are the goals rather than reflexive individual responses, but, the benefit is analogous. In much the same way that scenario-based tactical training ensures the desired application of force on the force continuum authorized for use by police on street patrol, scenario-based strategic planning ensures that the combined physical and human resources of large agencies (and multi-agency joint task forces) respond to critical incidents appropriately and as efficiently as possible (Koestner 2006).

At the same time that effective emergency management planning and critical incidence response efficiency requires scenario-based training, it is also susceptible to some of the same types of potential shortcomings that must be considered in tactical training situations.
Specifically, while a wide range of situations is capable of being anticipated and incorporated into scenario-based training, circumstances may always arise that differ sufficiently from all scenarios experienced in training to require appropriate responses without the benefit of repetitive exposure and practice (Carlson 2008).

Whether in tactical police training in routine municipal patrol procedures, special operations, or in multi-agency joint responses to large-scale natural disasters or terrorist attacks, critical incident response that overemphasizes scenario-based training has the potential to undermine effective incident response. Ultimately, scenario-based training in critical incident planning is a valuable tool, but it must complement rather than replace direct administrative control and oversight by experienced emergency management tacticians capable of responding appropriately to unanticipated scenarios as well.


Carlson, Joel, a. Demands on Police Services in a WMD Incident; FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Vol. 77 No. 3, (Mar/08), pp. 1-6.

Lynch, Michael, D. Developing a Scenario-Based Training Programs: Giving Officers a Tactical Advantage; FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Vol. 74 No. 10, (May/05), pp. 1-8.

Koestner, Lesley, G. Law Enforcement Online: Facing the….....

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