Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Human Resource Mgt


Human Resource Management

First Advisor

Dr. Robert S. Kelley

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia Strait

Third Advisor

Dr. James L. Narduzzi


The law enforcement special operations environment is changing. Officers are faced with challenges that are increasing in complexity as weapons availability and acts of terrorism force the tactical community to respond with better training and tactics. The purpose of this study is to identify a competency model needed to successfully perform as a law enforcement special operator over the next 5-10 years. In addition, the study identifies the core competencies that formulate the Law Enforcement Special Operator Competency Model. Implications for how police organizations can use the research for professional development are also discussed. This study utilizes three distinct phases of data collection. These phases, which include focus groups, a nationwide survey, and interviews with experts, result in a comprehensive Law Enforcement Special Operator Competency Model. The model consists of 46 core competencies bundled into four clusters. Police trainers and the field of higher education can use the model to build curriculums for tactical officers and leadership. A sample curriculum for a professional seminar is included in this research. Further research in this area could focus on using this research to create S.W.A.T. operator selection processes.