Shift Briefing Series: Tactical decision-making

Five-step model assists with making repeatable and defendable decisions


The Shift Briefing Series is designed to provide law enforcement officers with short training videos that will help make them smarter, safer and more efficient in daily operations and when responding to critical incidents. The videos address key components of the Top 20 Concepts, a class I created and have presented around the country since 2011. The class addresses 20 foundational concepts in law enforcement that are based in law, policy and ethics, are repeatable and defensible, and assist with critical incident decision-making. Group discussion questions are listed after each video to help solidify the topics and ensure the application is in line with your department’s mission and values. 

This video discusses tactical decision-making (TDM) for law enforcement. Decision-making pitfalls are highlighted, followed by some considerations. The video also provides a decision-making model – P.I.E.T.O. – for use on everyday calls and tactical events. This five-step model assists with making repeatable and defendable decisions and is easy to remember. Each step is discussed in detail.


questions to consider

  1. What is the difference between “Legal – Noble Cause” and “Jeopardy – Noble Cause”? What are the similarities?
  2. Why is knowing the training, experience and capabilities of a team important in decision-making?
  3. How is the concept of the Four Cs (previous video) tied to Step #4: Pick the correct tools and tactics?
  4. Why are the Safety Priorities (previous video) so foundational to the TDM model?
  5. What are the benefits of using Murphy’s TDM model?

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