November 30, 2012
Tactical Response Force Pursuit Operations at Idaho National Laboratory
Because of the presence of nuclear materials, Federal regulations require Idaho's contractor to maintain a highly trained Tactical Response Force to protect nuclear weapons, weapon components and Special Nuclear Material. As part of Idaho's protection strategy, the Tactical Response Force is equipped with vehicles to respond to attacks and pursue adversaries. It is possible for adversaries to cross jurisdictional lines and enter into a jurisdiction where several different Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies reside. Because such activities have the potential to endanger members of the public, we initiated this inspection to determine whether Idaho's Tactical Response Force was properly prepared, trained and equipped to execute its mission related to pursuit of suspects across jurisdictional lines. Our inspection revealed several weaknesses with Idaho's approach to pursuits that could cross jurisdictional lines. In particular, we identified problems with coordination, communication and equipment that could, if not addressed, result in confusion and lead to injury of members of the public. Specifically, we found that: Idaho had not coordinated with and established Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with other law enforcement bodies regarding specific roles and responsibilities during pursuits across jurisdictional lines; Emergency notification procedures necessary to communicate with Federal, state or local law enforcement agencies during pursuit operations across jurisdictional lines were not formalized and documented; and, Tactical Response Force vehicles were not properly equipped to adequately alert the public during pursuit operations. Management concurred with the report and management's comments and planned corrective actions are responsive to our report findings and recommendations.
Topic: National Security & Safety