Building Close Quarters Clearance Capabilities in Montgomery County

Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) has built a comprehensive training program for their special operations division (SOD) personnel. With support from the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS), 18 officers from MCPD recently participated in a local offering of the Tomahawk Close Quarter Clearance (CQC) – Methodical Clearance Course. This training combines best practices and techniques for tactical entry and follow-on movement procedures.

This five-day course provides field-based training for law enforcement organizations to establish and refine standard operating procedures (SOPs) for CQC methodical and threshold clearance. Students learned several essential tactical skills, including threat priorities, use of cover, room entries, and follow-on movement.

The training occurred across five disparate locations throughout Montgomery County. The distinctive floorplan of each facility allowed operators to maneuver in diverse environments. The instructors provided real-time feedback to each trainee and the unit’s performance in the following areas: two-four-person room entries, room pie methods, angles/cross-pan, multiple rooms, de-confliction, stairway/hallway movement, single/dual access, and team size movement.

MCPD has made great strides by expanding its close-quarter clearance capabilities to include night vision operations. While the focus of CQC is on tactical entry and follow-on movement, it requires proficiency in observation, intelligence gathering, and operational planning. The local delivery of the Tomahawk CQC – Methodical Clearance Course allowed MCPD to train officers as a group and highlighted the need for more team-based training.
With the completion of the Tomahawk CQC – Methodical Clearance Course, MCPD understands the need to build/enhance competency in key areas of CQC.