Critical Incident Leadership and Decision-Making Program


On-scene commanders make decisions in the high-threat law enforcement context of hostage rescue, armed barricaded suspects, and armed suicidal individuals that can result in successful or catastrophic outcomes. The OpTac International Critical Incident Leadership and Decision-Making Program is based on Dr. Stuart A. Meyers’ research published in the books, High-Threat Decisions: When It’s a Matter of Life and Death and SWAT Operations and Critical Incidents: Why People Die. Presentations describe the experience and methods of making decisions in these and other high-threat environments. Areas addressed in this program include learning strategies that could better prepare commanders and organizational leaders in the processing of information, while optimizing speed and accuracy in decision-making, along with an analysis of contextual and hierarchy leadership, contemporary command decision-making, and practical applications for incident management. Particular attention is paid to the role of adaptive expertise in decision-making and understanding how mental models of recurring patterns necessary for effective situational assessments are created and subsequently retrieved. This process includes asking strategic questions to obtain actionable intelligence for making sound decisions when information is not readily provided. Additionally, new predictive analytics, high-threat decision-making and critical incident pattern recognition models are presented. The program’s goal is to make communities and law enforcement personnel safer. The cost to attend this special event is $399.00 per person.

Subject Areas:

  • Detailed presentation on the complexities of critical incident management
  • Learning strategies and the role of experience in decision-making
  • Decision-making for extreme events
  • Impact of suspect actions
  • Leader skills
  • Organizational and operational concerns
  • Use of force and de-escalation of force as it pertains to decision-making in high-threat situations
  • Improved policing and building public trust
  • Police accountability
  • Interactive discussion of attendee incident response and management concerns
  • Critical incident tabletop exercises
  • Presentation of the Predictive Analytics High-Threat Decision-Making Model and Pattern Recognition for Critical Incidents Model in which incident data can be applied for an improved understanding of options necessary for making sound decisions