Critical Incident Quick Reference

What constitutes a critical incident?

Any sudden event involving a police officer that results in an immediate investigation with no advanced notice to the subject officer and potentially resulting in the arrest, suspension, or termination of the subject officer.


  • Officer involved shootings
  • In-custody deaths
  • Use of force/weapons discharge (including less-than-lethal force)
  • Car accidents
  • Any allegation of duty-related criminal conduct

4 Things you NEVER do:

  1. NEVER give a voluntary statement
  2. NEVER take a polygraph
  3. NEVER give blood or urine
  4. NEVER talk to crisis response team, victim advocate, debriefing team, peer groups, or anyone unless you have a legally confidential relationship with that person.

Things you should always do when involved in a critical incident:

  • Secure the scene and preserve evidence
  • Notify the dispatcher and appropriate supervisor(s)
  • Notify EMS
  • Contact your FOP attorney and
Things you should always if you are an uninvolved officer at the scene of a critical incident:
  • Make sure the involved officer is OK
  • Assist involved officer in contacting FOP attorney
  • Stand by the involved officer until his/her representative/attorney arrives
  • Do NOT talk about the facts with the involved officer
  • Provide the representative/attorney with as much information as possible
  • Remind the involved officer to REMAIN SILENT

Source:  NFOP Labor Services

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