Emerging Legal Trends and Liability Management for Tactical, SWAT and Emergency Response Operations

August 6 - 8, 2019

For more information, please contact Lee Bell-Hovland.​​​

Course Objectives

One of the most critical tasks in law enforcement involves the use of tactical officers to accomplish high-risk operations. While the success of these operations requires extensive training and proper equipment, success also requires sound decision-making from the moment the decision is made to utilize a tactical response to a police event. The decision itself may even be scrutinized with 20/20 hindsight.

Over the last decade, tactical operations have come under the scrutiny of the courts. The scrutiny is largely the results of lawsuits filed against agencies and officers following a tactical operation. Much of the developing law can be found in reported decisions of the federal courts.

This workshop uses a case-study approach to identify the important policy and practice considerations that will help tactical commanders, supervisors and officers make legally defensible decisions without compromising operations during tactical events.

PLEASE NOTE: TAC RMP members can register at no cost but seating is limited to 45 attendees at each event. Lunch is included. Registration closes one week before each event.

The program takes a three-tier approach:

  • First, participants will be presented with the legal cases that impact tactical operations and ultimately, liability
  • Second, participants will be presented with policy issues that may be considered for implementation
  • Finally, the training turns toward the practical implementation of the legal and policy issues in a manner that does not compromise tactical operations or officer safety

This workshop is unique. It takes a practical approach to legal principles affecting tactical operations and provides a road map to an operational implementation of the legal principles without hindering operations or compromising officer safety.

Upon Completion

Participants will gain knowledge in the following areas:

Liability in Law Enforcement Operations: This session focuses on civil liability for individual officers in the various law enforcement tasks. Using the task-oriented approach, the session will be limited to those areas that are also applicable to the tactical officer.

Agency Liability: This session reviews the law with respect to agency liability. Students will be presented with the law relating to civil rights claims brought against an agency as the result of an officer's conduct.

Training: This session examines the law relating to an agency's failure to train officers for recurring (foreseeable) police tasks.

Liability in Tactical Operations: This session utilizes the principles from the previous sessions in reviewing cases with direct application to tactical operations.

Selection and Training: Case review with respect to how selection of candidates for specialized tactical units may affect liability as a result of operations. The session will incorporate the legal implications of entry-level and on-going training for specialized operations.

These workshops are being presented by the Texas Association of Counties Risk Management Pool (TAC RMP) and the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool (TMLIRP).

8-8:30 a.m. On-site Registration
8:30-9 a.m. Opening & Introduction/Course Overview
9 a.m.-noon Overview of Liability in Law Enforcement Operations

When is the Agency Liable for the Actions of Officers?

Documented Training — An Inexpensive Step to Avoiding Liability

Liability in Tactical Operations

High Risk Warrant Service/No Knock Warrants

Selection of the Team/Training the Team
Noon-1 p.m. Lunch (provided)
1-4 p.m. Pre-Shooting Events — The Wrong Tactical Approach May Lead to Liability

Confronting the Mentally Ill and the Emotionally Disturbed/Suicide by Cop

Regional Tactical Units/Understanding Liability

Policy Development for the Special Response/Emergency Response/SWAT/Tactical Units

Jack Ryan is an attorney in Rhode Island who received his Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude, from Suffolk University Law School. Ryan has 20 years police experience as a captain. He is a former adjunct faculty member at Salve Regina University and lectures frequently throughout the United States. He is the co-director of the Legal and Liability Risk Management Institute (LLRMI) and has conducted agency audits for that entity, several involving issues of administrative investigations.

Ryan regularly conducts training seminars for LLRMI in a variety of subjects including use of force, internal affairs and legal issues. He has written two books for use by Rhode Island Law Enforcement Officers: "Rhode Island Law Enforcement Officers Guide to Criminal Procedure" and "Rhode Island Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights, a Practical Guide to the Law of Investigations and Hearings." He has written extensively on the legal issues surrounding the Internal  Affairs Process.

Ryan also wrote a field guide for law enforcement officers nationally, "Case Law for Critical Tasks in Law Enforcement, A Legal Guide for Officers and Supervisors," which is updated annually at the end of each U.S. Supreme Court term.

He authors and edits the LLRMI's bi-monthly publications providing legal and liability updates to law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.

August 6 – Plainview
Ollie Liner Center
2000 S. Columbia St.
Plainview, TX 79072

August 8 – Longview
Maude Cobb Convention Center
100 Grand Blvd.
Longview, TX 75604

There will be 7 hours of TCOLE credit offered.

To cancel your registration, contact Lee Bell-Hovland at (800) 456-5974.
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