720.00 SERT AND HNT USE
- SERT Service Request - Planned Operations Risk Assessment Form (TOD)
In special emergency situations, the Bureau will make every effort to ensure the safety of hostages, innocent bystanders and members while attempting to safely arrest the suspect(s).
Directive Specific Definitions
Activated status: Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT)/Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT) members are considered to be in activated status upon receipt of a command to take action.
Awaiting activated status: While on the scene of a situation or at a designated staging area, is considered to be on standby.
Call-up: Receiving an order to report for duty.
Critical Incident Commander (CIC): A specially trained on call command person designated by the Chief who responds to all SERT/HNT activations, high-risk warrants, and any other event designated by a Branch chief or the Chief of Police. The CIC has the authority and responsibility for all police actions related to the incident and reports to the Operations Branch chief during emergency activations.
On-scene incident supervisor: The highest ranking supervisor/command officer who assumes command at the scene of an incident.
Mandatory Call-Up Situations (720.00)
SERT and HNT serve to provide tactical support for the Bureau. In all situations described below, call-up procedures will be implemented for both SERT and HNT, as well as the on call Critical Incident Commander and the Operations Branch chief.
a. A barricaded person: A person using an obstruction (i.e., building, car, etc.) and the threat of deadly force to accomplish a certain goal or, in the case of a criminal, to prevent capture.
b. A hostage situation: An incident involving a person being held by a suspect who is reasonably believed to be armed, as a means of forcing compliance with some demand.
c. A sniper situation: A person, usually concealed, shooting or threatening to shoot at other people.
d. A high-risk search/arrest warrant where there is a potential threat sufficient to require SERT to execute the warrant.
Exceptional Situations (720.00)
Occasionally, tactical situations arise which do not pose an immediate threat to the general safety and well-being of the community, but do require the expert or tactical support of either, but not necessarily both, SERT or HNT. Such is exemplified by, but is not limited to, situations where the services of HNT would facilitate the resolution of an individual threatening suicide by jumping from a bridge. Requests for SERT to execute search warrants will be forwarded through channels along with a completed SERT Service Request – Planned Operations Risk Assessment Form. At the conclusion of the warrant service, SERT will attach and forward the original assessment form along with their After Action Report to the Chief of Police’s Office.
Operations Branch: The Operations Branch has full responsibility for the Bureau’s response to a field tactical situation. Whenever the SERT and/or HNT are called to a tactical operation, they shall be under the direct command of the Operations Branch for the duration of the incident.
On-scene incident supervisor: Pending the arrival of the Critical Incident Commander, the on scene highest ranking member at the scene who assumes command is the on-scene incident supervisor and has the authority and responsibility for all police actions during any incident unless, or until, relieved by the Critical Incident Commander.
Critical Incident Commander: The Critical Incident Commander responds to all emergency SERT/HNT activations and has the authority and responsibility for all police actions during an incident once he/she assumes command from the on-scene incident supervisor.
If it is determined that both SERT and HNT are needed, that information should be relayed to a supervisor who can implement a call-up and immediately report to the scene.
The SERT, HNT and Critical Incident Commander call-up procedures shall be implemented by BOEC upon the order of a supervisor. BOEC will also notify the precinct desk personnel, during desk operation hours, of the call-up. The precinct of occurrence will be responsible for making all command notifications.
The Critical Incident Commander may at any time, and as circumstances dictate, either activate or deactivate SERT in order to resolve the situation.
The tactical functions, which shall be addressed by the Critical Incident Commander, are:
a. Assessment of the situation.
b. Development of the mission.
1. Containment of the area – inner/outer perimeters.
2. Evacuation, if needed or possible.
3. Creation of a command post, to include site and staff.
4. Designation of an off-site briefing post for City representatives.
5. Communication: Reserve appropriate nets, set up command and controls.
6. Rules of engagement given to all members by on-scene commander.
c. Execution of the mission.
1. SERT, HNT, or EDU – concept of operation.
2. Containment, support.
3. Sub-unit missions.
4. Coordinating instructions.
5. Coordination of media message and/or community notification through PENS.
1. Relief members.
e. Command and signal.
The Critical Incident Commander will be called, and will assume command for the duration of the incident. The Operations Branch chief will be notified and advised of the circumstances. In the event that none of the on-call Critical Incident Commanders are available to respond, the Operations Branch chief will respond. If the Operations Branch chief is unavailable, the Investigative Branch chief or the Services Branch chief will be notified, in that order. The responding Branch chief will assume command of the operation. The precinct commander will be notified and may respond. The precinct commander or designee will direct patrol resources in support of the event at the direction of the Critical Incident Commander. The precinct commander or designee will also manage precinct operations unrelated to the event.
Once the call-up procedure has been initiated, SERT and/or HNT shall be deemed to be on standby status until the on-scene incident supervisor or the Critical Incident Commander directs them to perform in either of their separate functions as part of the operation.
SERT and HNT may be canceled only by the on-scene incident supervisor or the Critical Incident Commander.
The HNT will have full responsibility for determining negotiation methods, but will maintain close coordination with the Critical Incident Commander and keep the Critical Incident Commander and SERT commanders briefed. The Critical Incident Commander may at any time, as circumstances dictate, either activate or deactivate negotiations or use other tactical responses.
Upon using of SERT by the Critical Incident Commander, SERT will have full responsibility for determining tactical methods. The SERT commander will retain supervisory control of the team and will maintain close coordination with the Critical Incident Commander who may, or may not, use SERT. Prior to being used in counter-sniper, perimeter or entry role, SERT may, at the direction of the Critical Incident Commander, gather intelligence and make other preparations for performance of their mission.
Bureau Supervisors and Non-Police Bureau Personnel (720.00)
Bureau supervisors and City representatives not involved in the operation shall be directed to a location other than the command post, as designated by the Critical Incident Commander. The Critical Incident Commander will appoint one member as liaison to keep these observers apprised of any changes in conditions.
Outside Agency Requests (720.00)
Outside agency requests for HNT services within a 50-mile radius of Central Precinct must receive approval from the HNT commander or designee, or if unavailable, the TOD manager or Investigations Branch chief. Such requests for SERT services must receive approval from the SERT commanding lieutenant or designee, or if unavailable, the TOD manager or Investigations Branch chief. Requests for the services of both HNT and SERT may be directed to either unit’s commanding lieutenant or designee, who will then be the contact person for the agency making the request. That lieutenant or designee will then contact the other unit with the service request.
Requests for assistance beyond the 50 mile radius must receive the approval of the Chief of Police or, if unavailable, the Investigation or Services Branch chief.