Analyzing “Near Miss” Incidents

Near misses have been described or defined as incidents that, with a slight shift in circumstances, would have resulted in damage, injury, and/or death. Across a number of industries, including transportation, medicine, fire services, and energy, the tracking of errors and the capturing of “near misses” have provided valuable data for informing the field on ways to improve safety and reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Here are a few points to consider:

1. A near miss is any event that could have resulted in a serious injury, fatality, significant property damage, or crisis if not for a fortunate break in the circumstances in the chain of events.

2. LEO Near Miss, modeled after the International Association of Fire Chiefs National Near Miss system, presents the first opportunity for the law enforcement community to begin to share stories about near misses.

3. LEO Near Miss allows law enforcement to share “close calls” in order to help their peers stay safe and prevent tragedies. LEO Near Miss is supported by analysis software that can identify similarities in events that may appear dissimilar, allowing information to be developed that can improve training, practices, and policies, thereby improving safety.

4. Law enforcement personnel should share near miss stories and lessons learned to shield other law enforcement personnel from accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

5. Sharing your story is an anonymous, secure, non-punitive, and confidential process that takes only a few minutes to complete online. An experienced team of staff and outside experts review the submitted reports to ensure no identifying information is included. Anyone in any law enforcement agency that has experienced a near miss or was involved in such an event can submit a report – no approvals, accounts, or memberships are required.

6. The Police Foundation, which operates the LEO Near Miss system, will make reports and analyses of near miss incidents available to any law enforcement agency requesting such information, provided that sufficient information is available within the system related to the near miss or area of concern.

Submit a report and find out more at


Additional Resources:

5 Things You Need to Know About LEO Near Miss


In an effort to provide helpful suggestions in areas that have not yet been fully studied or evaluated, we have included ideas for responses and activities that may not yet be considered evidence-based or evidence-informed. Therefore, not all actions and strategies included within this App are evidence-based or evidence-informed.