Incident Management / Intervention Model

The Incident Management / Intervention Model (IMIM) is a visual aid that helps the officer picture an event and explain why the officer used the intervention methods he or she did. The model is a teaching aid used for training officers. It is also very helpful when an officer must clearly explain his or her actions in court, for example.

The RCMP's IMIM aligns with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP)'s National Use of Force Framework and contributes to a common vocabulary approach to the use of force by police agencies across Canada.

IMIM training and annual re-certification is mandatory for all RCMP officers.

The IMIM is not policy or law, and should not be considered a model to justify police use of force.

IMIM in practice

Incident Management/Intervention Model (IMIM)
Incident Management/Intervention Model. Text version below.
Incident Management/Intervention Model - Text version

The visual representation of the Incident Management Intervention Model is a concentric layered wheel that represents the rapidly evolving and dynamic nature of police work, as well as the continuous requirement for the police officer to evaluate the level of risk for the given situation.

At the centre is the police officer in the given situation, using the CAPRA (Clients, Acquire and Analyze, Partners, Response, and Assessment) problem solving model. The circle builds outwards helping the officer form a proper risk assessment.

The layers of the wheel in order from the centre are:

  1. Situational Factors: Reflects that situational factors are continuously changing and affecting all of the events and actions of a given police intervention.
  2. Subject Behaviours: Subject behaviours progress, from the lowest level to the highest, as follows:
    1. Cooperative
    2. Passive Resistant
    3. Active Resistant
    4. Assaultive
    5. Grievous Bodily Harm or Death
  3. Intervention Options: Intervention options blend from one to another as there are various levels of each, and their availability to be used can cross levels of "Subject Behaviour" given the totality of a situation. In order by the first intervention, the options are:
    1. Officer Presence: is the first police intervention, as an officer needs to be present to have an impact on the given situation
    2. Communication: is always required, in different forms, throughout a police Intervention
    3. Physical Control: is broken down further into "Soft Physical Control" and "Hard Physical Control" depending on the subject behaviour
    4. Intermediate Weapons: this intervention overlaps with "Physical Control". There are various levels and options available in this category
    5. Lethal Force: this intervention overlaps with "Officer Presence," "Communication," "Physical Control Hard," and "Intermediate Weapons". "Lethal Force" aligns with when the subject behaviour is "Grievous Bodily Harm or Death."
  4. Tactical Repositioning: Tactical repositioning is often available to a police officer in any given situation

The IMIM is the framework that RCMP officers use to assess and manage risk through justifiable and reasonable intervention. The IMIM builds from the actual situation outward. The circular representation of the graphic is designed to reflect the rapidly evolving and dynamic nature of police work. Unlike a continuum or linear pathway, the IMIM does not lead the officer through a stepped progression of intervention options. The officer instead selects an appropriate option to control the situation, based on the situation.

Police officers are also expected to explain the intervention strategies chosen to manage an incident. The explanation must take into account the entire situation, including:

  • tactical considerations, such as: low light, presence of backup, availability of cover, distance from the subject
  • the officer's perceptions, such as: the size of the person, weapons nearby, previous encounters with the person, the person's emotional state
  • situational factors, such as: weather, time of day, location, number of people present compared to number of police officers present
  • subject behavior, such as: cooperative, resistant, assaultive

This information forms what is known as the officer's risk assessment.

The process where an officer clearly, concisely and effectively explains the events that occurred before, during and after a use of force incident is called "legal articulation." Officers will not necessarily be judged by what they believe. Their intervention will be measured against what a reasonable, trained, prudent police officer would do faced with a similar set of circumstances. Police officers are also trained to continually monitor risk during an interaction with the public as things can change very quickly. Police officers must always be ready to shift tactics.

Use of force reporting

If an RCMP officer uses force, he or she must complete a use of force report following the incident. The RCMP uses a "Subject Behaviour / Officer Response" (SBOR) report. SBOR improves the accuracy of use of force reporting, and helps police officers clearly explain what happened in use of force incidents. It also provides statistical data on use of force trends across the country, which allows the National Use of Force section to review and update policy and training, when needed.

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