Lowland Search Controller

Overall responsibility for managing the search activity to implement the search plan

The Search Controller works in the Control Point [CP] with the Control Vehicle as their base in support of the Search Manager(s) and Kent Police Search Advisors (POLSA).

The function of the Search Planner includes:

  • make sure all members in attendance are signed in & out
  • manage radio communications or use a Radio Controller
  • operate all mapping and search related software systems
  • to monitor availability and allocation of resources
  • record all communications between control, search teams and other resources

The Search Controller will manage the setup of the Control Point; site and start the generator for power, connect and raise the radio antennae, start up the computer, setup a cordon around the control point, make sure safety equipment is ready for issue to search teams (to be signed in & out by each search team). The Logistics Officer will assist or take over this function if available.

Once the search plan has been received from the Search Planner the Search Controller will arrange the resources available into Search Teams, allocate search activities from the plan to each team.

The Search Planner will also provide a briefing to each team regarding the details of the missing person, the situation, what search activity will be taking place and to make sure they are fit for deployment.

As search teams return from each search activity the Search Planner will organise a de-brief of that activity for the Search Planner and stand down or redeploy the team with another search activity.

Should the missing person be found the Search Planner will coordinate the rescue of them to a suitable place of safety where they can receive appropriate care and attention. This usually involves passing the missing person to the Ambulance Service or the Police.

The Search Controller may also be one of the official drivers that collects the Control Vehicle from its secure storage location, drives it to the search and returns it back to storage at the end of the search.



Competency 1 – Basic Life Preservation in First Aid

Competency 2 – Basic Search Techniques

Competency 3 – Briefing & De-Briefing

Competency 4 – Scenes of Crime Preservation & Evidence Handling

Competency 5 – Search Safety

Competency 6 – Water Safety

Competency 7 – Basic Land Navigation Skills

Competency 8 – Missing Person Characteristics, Statistics & Search Tactics


  • Search Technician
  • Team Leader
  • Relent experience

Holding both the Search Planner and Search Controller qualifications makes the holder a Search Manager.

There is a Skills for Justice Award available for this role.