View Full Version : Police shooting/surrounding a building

04-20-2010, 09:12 PM
Does anybody know where I could get good info on how an actual surrounding of a building and possible shooting would be conducted by the Police? I don't mean the usual Hollywood stuff, but the actual thing...


04-20-2010, 10:07 PM
Depends. Tactics would vary greatly depending on: size of building, location, time of day, traffic, number of criminals in the building, what weapons do they have, are hostages involved, number of exits, lifts or only stairs, etc, etc. Also the size and makeup of the police force (5 men police force in a small, rural town or a large department in a major city). Depending on the crime committed, federal forces could be brought in.

04-20-2010, 10:24 PM
Apartment building in a city, two cops following a suspect that gets into the building... they call for back-up and surround? What if they suspect there may be a hostage inside but they're not sure? I'm also interested in the general settings, ie how are cops trained to handle these situations, for example if the building is a public one full of people inside, etc.... Are there public sources on the internet that one could consult?


04-21-2010, 03:40 AM
In answer to the question of how to find info, go to the source and ask a cop/retired cop. Ensure the cop knows the location.

I is one-there are a few of us on AW. (My info applies only to a US setting and I don't know where your story's set.)

Re your scenario, is this an apartment building meaning a four-plex or six-plex, or do you mean a very large complex with hundreds of units?

For what crime is the bad guy wanted? Robbery, sexual assault? Or did he steal a car? The type of crime does influence how much effort will go into going after him.

Re a guy getting away by going into a building, and presumably he doesn't come out when the good guys knock on the door. Is it the bad guy's res? Gotta go get a search warrant. This means typing out an affidavit or giving sworn testimony before ye olde judge.

Re pursuing him and he goes into a building, is this hot pursuit, as in they are chasing him, in sight, a few yards behind, ready to grab 'im? In the US, this is one of the exceptions to needing a search warrant. Could be door-kicking time, tho I need more scenario info to say for sure.

Re how to get him out assuming the two cops are having to wait for a warrant or are attempting to negotiate him out or waiting for support...at any rate, waiting for whatever good reason. One cop is immediately going to the back door, backed off far enough to see window exits. As in, if it's a flat, say we know the apt covers the entire ground level, one cops positions to be able to eye the north and west sides, the other is opposite corner, able to see the south and east sides...because when we do go kick the door, he'd better be in there rather than us having screwed up and no watched all ingress and egress from the minute he went in his hidey-hole. This is something someone is going to swear to to get that warrant.

Re the possible hostage situation. Is this domestic? Stranger hostage? Was the guy armed? Threatening? You say it's only possible, so you must have more of the scenario in mind, but I dunno what you're imagining. Very good chance the commanding officer's next move (assuming no answer at the door and absent exigent circumstance that call for door kicking) will be to have dispatch rummage through the computers and come up with a phone number for the apt unit, call and tell the dude to get his ass outside. (I was a negotiator...I actually said it a lot nicer than this.)

Really, you can just show up at your nearest PD and ask. Approach any cop and ask. Say why you want the info and ask for some Q&A time.

Tsu Dho Nimh
04-21-2010, 06:35 AM
Does anybody know where I could get good info on how an actual surrounding of a building and possible shooting would be conducted by the Police? I don't mean the usual Hollywood stuff, but the actual thing...


What does the plot need?

04-27-2010, 01:43 AM
Horseshoes is correct in that the tactics are influenced by the particular situation. We need more detail before we could speculate. Level of threat, seriousness of the 'alleged' crime, level of risk to innocent bystanders, etc., are all factors in determining the course of action. Please divulge as much as you are willing so we may be of assistance.

04-27-2010, 03:03 AM


04-27-2010, 08:40 AM
Thanks, I bought that book, and used it extensively, but I am still puzzling over a scene... let me collect my thoughts and then I'll post what details I know and what needs to be filled in -- thanks!