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

Visual representation of the Incident Management Intervention Model
  • Image description

    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. At the centre is the actual situation with the police officer using the CAPRA (Clients, Acquire & Analyze, Partners, Response, and Assessment) problem solving model. The circle builds outwards helping the officer form a proper risk assessment which includes the situational factors, the officer's perceptions, tactical considerations and the subject's behaviour. The outer layers represent the police interventions the responding officer may select.

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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