An exploration of the use of tactical officers in three Canadian police services [2020]

In order to better understand the use of tactical police resources in Canada we interviewed patrol and tactical officers (N = 28) from three Canadian police services. A thematic analysis indicated that tactical officers are primarily responding to calls beyond the capabilities of patrol to resolve optimally which included high-risk calls as denoted by the presence of risk-factors and calls unfolding in special environments. Further, tactical officer response is thought to result in a reduced threat to officer and public safety. Our findings suggest that in contrast to previous claims, tactical officers are often responding to calls where significant risk is present.

Bryce Jenkins, Tori Semple, Craig Bennell, Laura Huey
The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles, October 8, 2020