Dorner manhunt reviewed

The Police Foundation has released an in-depth review of the Christopher Dorner manhunt in Southern California in February 2013. Two problems that were identified were coordination of police activities across county lines and undisciplined response by volunteer officers, according to this article. These conclusions seem to parallel the recent report on the manhunt following last year’s Boston Marathon bombing.

2 Responses to “Dorner manhunt reviewed”

  1. John Kapinos Says:

    Gary, I read the report and also found it to be very interesting. Two things stood out for me. First, was the self-deployment issue, properly identified as a command and control failure. But an underlying theme for me is the fact that we train police officers from recruit school onward to operate and function as a solo officer – or at most as part of a two-officer team. There is strong emphasis on the ability to take independent action, which works perfectly in most instances. It does not always translate well when officers have to become part of a much larger police operation, involving many teams, units and even agencies. The basic mindset is geared to individual initiative and independent action.

    I also found interesting the discussion about how detectives are trained to follow the cardinal rule to protect the integrity of their investigation, by compartmentalizing information to prevent damaging leaks. Again, this works fine in most usual homicide cases. But in the Dorner Case (much like the DC Sniper Case in 2002) there is an overriding imperative to share all known information in the interests of officer and public safety. This forces detectives to do things that are incongruent with their basic training and normal mindset.

    • Gary Cordner Says:

      Hey John, good points, I agree. Back in my day (before your time), the same issue came up in regard to handling civil disorder, which called for officers to work as a unit. Wasn’t natural, for the same reasons you cite.

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