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On-demand webinar: Criminal and non-criminal barricade response: Understanding tactics, decision-making and the law

Tactical and legal experts share best practices to avoid unnecessary violent confrontations

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The response to a barricaded suspect is a complex operation for law enforcement officers. But, when the armed and barricaded subject is suicidal and not wanted for a crime, a different set of rules applies.

Whether you are the initial responding officer, or an arriving SWAT commander or negotiator, you must understand modern tactics and the laws regarding whether or not the police have a legal duty to act.

This panel discussion reviews how the police response to both criminal and non-criminal barricades has evolved to prioritize officer and community safety. The panel discusses the often misunderstood “public duty doctrine” and whether or not police officers have a legal duty to prevent barricaded subjects from harming a third party. They also discuss the implementation of disengagement policies on suicidal responses, the use of technology to avoid violent confrontations and more.

After viewing this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Contrast the contemporary tactics being used for criminal and non-criminal barricade incidents
  • Describe the legal elements of the public duty doctrine and special relationships exceptions
  • Describe the policy, training and technology factors associated with non-criminal barricade responses


“I have attended over a dozen webinars this year and this is by far the best!”

“Array of panelists was great. Great discussions with examples and case law. I appreciated the links that were provided as the presentation flowed. Should be mandatory training for patrol officers.”

“There was a lot of useful discussion and links to case laws. Everyone stayed very much on topic and provided recent, relevant case law and scenarios.”

Resources shared during the webinar

Download handouts

Find out more about the Savage Training Group’s training here.

Case law references

Additional resources

Meet our experts

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L-R: Moderator Scott Savage, Donald Anderson, Ruben Lopez, Laura Scarry

Scott Savage recently retired from his position as an active-duty law enforcement officer in California. His previous assignments include SWAT, full-time assignment to a terrorism/ intelligence task force, team leader on a crisis negotiation team, field supervisor and incident commander. He is the founder of the Savage Training Group, a private law enforcement training organization, which offers an online and in-person course on Response to the Non-Criminal Barricade: Disengagement and Special Relationships. Scott’s primary area of focus is how police respond to critical incidents and crisis situations.

Lieutenant Donald Anderson is an active-duty lieutenant with the San Francisco Police Department currently assigned as a watch commander in the Patrol Division. He has been honing his experience ever since starting with the department in 2005. After serving as a patrol officer and an FTO, he was promoted to sergeant in 2013. As a sergeant, he worked as both a patrol supervisor and an investigator Prior to getting promoted to lieutenant, he was permanently assigned to the Crisis Intervention Team where he coordinated and instructed for his agency’s Crisis Intervention/De-escalation training program. He was also a member of San Francisco PD’s 40-officer Hostage/Crisis Negotiation Team. As a negotiator, he was one of four Team Leaders, the team’s Executive Officer, and the Interim Officer-in-Charge.

Lieutenant Ruben Lopez spearheaded the Los Angeles Police Department’s tactical disengagement protocol. Since 2008, he’s been the officer in charge of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. He’s been a sworn member of the Department since March 1988 completing various assignments in patrol, criminal street gangs, special task forces, detectives and supervisory roles.

Laura Scarry is a partner in the law firm of DeAno & Scarry located in Chicago. She represents law enforcement officials against claims of civil rights violations in state and federal courts. Scarry was a police officer with the Lake Forest (Illinois) Police Department from 1986-1992.