Center for Critical Incident Analysis

CNA’s Center for Critical Incident Analysis identifies best practices and lessons learned through an objective, data-driven approach to reconstructing and analyzing the response to real-world incidents, disasters and emergencies. The center supports government agencies and organizations in continuous learning to enhance and improve prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery capabilities.


CNA employs a scalable approach to conducting after-action reviews, tailored to the complexity of the incident or event, the resources and time available to conduct the review, and the desired outcomes. We advise clients to begin reviews as soon as practical to capture data that can be lost in a short amount of time. Read more

Data collection methods, analysis methods, and products

Recent Reports

Pinellas County, Florida Hurricane Irma After-Action Report

Pinellas County asked CNA, a nonprofit organization that specializes in analyzing the response to hurricanes and other emergency incidents, to facilitate the after-action process. The purpose of this report is to highlight topics of most interest to residents and provide actionable recommendations for improving citizens’ experiences during disaster response. As such, this report focuses on five key areas: warning and evacuation, healthcare facilities, sheltering, communications and critical infrastructure and debris management.

Las Vegas After-Action Assessment: Lessons Learned from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's Ambush Incident

The Las Vegas, Nevada, community and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) experienced a tragic loss on June 8, 2014, when two officers were ambushed and killed by two assailants. This report, sponsored by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) summarizes key findings developed during an after-action analysis of the ambush and subsequent police engagement with the assailants. CNA analyzed the event precursors, incident response and aftermath to document lessons learned. These findings and lessons learned can be used by the larger law enforcement community to conduct self-evaluation and better prepare for critical incidents such as ambushes and active shooter situations.

Ambushes of Police: Environment, Incident Dynamics, and the Aftermath of Surprise Attacks Against Law Enforcement

Little research has examined ambush attacks as a specific and directed form of violence against police. This study addresses that gap in the literature through a mixed-methods examination of ambush attacks against law enforcement. This represents the first substantive research in 30 years focused on civilian ambush attacks on police and presents recommendations for next steps and additional research.

Tampa Bay Manhunt After-Action Report

CNA conducted an objective, independent review of Tampa’s Incident Command System (ICS) operations to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Using event data, media reports and interviews with personnel from the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and other local and federal agencies, CNA identified lessons learned that apply to law enforcement professionals nationwide.