Immediate Action Rapid Deployment

Immediate Action Rapid Deployment (IARD) is a term used to describe a police tactic that provides swift deployment of law enforcement resources to developing or on-going, life-threatening situations where delayed deployment of emergency personnel could otherwise result in death or great bodily harm to innocent persons. The innocents are likely to be incapable of self-protection or escape to a safer environment owing to duress, time and/or other logistical restriction.


Threats to public safety that require "Immediate Action Rapid Deployment" could include individuals or groups of people preparing, or actively participating in aggressive activities that pose a serious, immediate and deadly threat to the general public, such as:

* Unauthorized armed intruder in school or other publicly accessed area
* Active shooter
* Attack with edged weapons
* Placing, detonating, wearing, or carrying explosive devices
* Nuclear, biological or chemical attack or threats

Examples of locations where "Immediate Action Rapid Deployment" may be utilized:

* Schools
* Churches
* Government buildings
* Commercial office or factory buildings
* Shopping malls
* Large sporting or entertainment events
* Hospitals or medical facilities
* Public utility facilities

IARD tactics can also, at the discretion of the individual officer(s), be used to assist the occupants of private dwellings and businesses during extremely hazardous situations such as would occur during an armed invasion.

An important element to effective IARD tactics is the establishment of close physical proximity with the threat(s). This may likely require first responders to quickly move through unsecured areas and past bleeding or otherwise injured/panicked victims. The objective is for police to quickly end the potential for the criminal to conduct violence against innocents. This is accomplished by swiftly locating, isolating, apprehending/neutralizing the perpetrator(s) at the earliest opportunity.

The need for IARD

"Immediate Action Rapid Deployment" is partially the result of increasing occurrences of suicidal attackers randomly killing in modern society. Public expectation requires law enforcement tacticians to task patrol assets with the dangerous duty of establishing swift contact with the public safety threat.

The armed homicidal/suicidal criminal has become a serious safety threat, as evidenced by the increase in numbers of deadly school shootings. This category of criminal is suicidal and has no desire to negotiate or escape upon arrival of police. Extremely dangerous, these individuals kill innocents at random until confronted by armed responders, then abruptly commits suicide ending the carnage. This leaves law enforcement patrol first responders the dangerous duty of minimizing the loss of lives by advancing towards the armed intruder. In a school mass shooting incident, the criminal will be intent on killing as many people as possible. Therefore, most causalities will occur within the first 15 minutes. The primary task for the first responding officer(s) will be to locate the shooter and make them stop. The more traditional role of law enforcement in a hostage type scenario will not work in this environment. An active shooter scenario requires immediate response to curtail the loss of life.

Any time delay in establishing close physical contact with an invading predator can result in granting them additional time to locate and isolate victims while arranging the crime scene in a manner that maximizes death and carnage.

The inherent reluctance of law enforcement to accept any casualties to police personnel and innocents during rescue operations actually creates a defensive delay in response, while other less hazardous options are considered. This time delay works in favor of the predators' planned activities, greatly increasing the likelihood of a higher casualty count among innocents. "Immediate Action Rapid Deployment" addresses this need for obtaining contact as quickly as possible. A running gun battle at an early stage of the event is preferable to allowing the predator(s)to establish control of the environment and setting up the scene for the final carnage.

The editors of Tactical Response Magazine authored a feature article titled [ "Patrol Response Challenge"] where the trend towards use of IARD tactics in response to an active shooter is discussed, in part; "The current debate, an excellent one, involves the deployment of just the first solo officer versus waiting for the second officer. After almost 40 years of SWAT, we are coming back full circle. The first patrol officer on the scene does what it takes, period. Because timing is so much against us from the start, more and more departments are opting for this 'first officer makes entry' tactic."


IARD tactics are only properly utilized by law enforcement agencies that have established clear policy, provided personnel with initial and recurrent training in IARD, and provided officers with modern portable ballistic shields, such as the "Baker Batshield", that allows the user the ability to accurately aim either a handgun or long-gun at the threat while being safely positioned behind the ballistic shield.

Astutely noted in [$35609 "Learn from the Spartans"] (posted April 9th, 2007 in retired FBI trainer John Wills states, "The street officer faces just as much danger as do SWAT teams. Moreover, the street cop usually never has any time to "gear up" for the encounter. With portable, folding shield, one only needs to pull it out of its case and go".

As stated in an article titled [ "Revisiting the Amish Schoolhouse Massacre"] "Using modern equipment and training, IARD is no longer considered an insane risk to the rescuer or the endangered potential victims. The use of this type of protective equipment should be strongly encouraged whenever IARD tactics are conducted." Some police agencies require a ballistic shield to be used, as mandatory equipment, during all IARD responses to armed individuals.

Although not considered mandatory by most law enforcement agencies, the wearing of tactical body armor, ballistic helmet, face visor armor, and leg armor would also be beneficial for the first responder(s), enabling officers a very close approach while being afforded extensive armored bodily coverage. Due to the amount of time required for these "add-on" protective up-armor accessories to be donned by a responding officer, these items may not be appropriate for use during an active shooter situation. The continuous loss of innocent life precludes excessive time spent "suiting-up" and preparing for the "perfect" entry during a massacre in progress. IARD equipment availability and procedures must be designed for speed of access and use while first responders are "on-the-move" towards the potential or active carnage. Criminals intent upon random killing culminating with suicide present an extremely difficult task for first responding law enforcement officers. Traditional police tactics were developed to capture armed criminals who were intent on evading apprehension, and remaining alive. Containment and negotiation type tactics have proven ineffective in preventing and stopping a murderous rampage culminating in suicide.

Prior to the introduction of IARD, most tactics instructed the first responder patrol officers to establish and maintain a perimeter, while gathering information for additional officers currently en route to the scene. Only when an armed individual became an active shooter, were some patrol officers authorized to proceed with advancing towards the shooter.

When conducted by patrol officers, Patrol IARD shares many tactics and characteristics with established "active shooter" law enforcement response. However, "Immediate Action Rapid Deployment" is the term used to describe the process by which first responders can choose to react for any immediate threat to public safety. "Active shooter" response is conducted by patrol and/or SWAT personnel after a firearm is being fired and the murderous rampage has begun.

First responding patrol officers, using modern Patrol IARD tactics can make a positive difference by interrupting the criminal(s) during the early stages of a planned mass murder/suicide event, and ultimately can prevent the massacre from occurring.

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