Police Safety Enhanced by Debriefing Before a Shift

Officers are frequently anxious to get  out on the job, but debriefing before a shift actually has safety benefits that should not be overlooked. What should be addressed during shift debriefing?

  • Discuss situations that occurred during the last shift and how they were handled – what occurred while out on the job that can be seen as a learning experience? How did officers choose to respond to incidents, and what was the result?
  • How effective was communication between different units – communication when responding to situations is essential for law enforcement. But as in any profession or interpersonal interaction, communication can fail. It is important to look at how effective communication was during the last shift. It can make a huge difference not only to efficiency, but to the safety of all involved. All players, including dispatch, play a role and must be evaluated as part of this process.
  • What needs to happen with ongoing investigations? – there will be investigations and procedures that must take place over multiple shifts and days. While this is linked to the point on communication, in general it is essential to make this a separate point. A lack of relayed information about a suspect can put other officers stepping in to take over during their shift at risk.

By debriefing before every shift, law enforcement officers will be safer on the job.

What else do you think should be discussed?



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