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Crisis and Emergency Management in Law Enforcement

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Crisis and emergency situations require a joint, coordinated effort by several teams, sometimes in particularly severe environments. In major disasters like earthquakes, floods, landslides, and forest fires, the transport and communications infrastructures are probably unavailable, while roads, power lines, and water distribution may be damaged or destroyed. The basic infrastructure itself often has to be restored before aid can be brought to the victims. Successful relief operations rely on the co-ordination of real-time information on topography, hazard maps, and alternative sources of power, water and any other urgent need. This co-ordination would be provided by a relief organization control center, based on pre-disaster information, integrated with updates coming from position data and satellite images.

Research Paper


Emergency management is the generic name of an interdisciplinary field dealing with the strategic organizational management processes used to protect critical assets of an organization from hazard risks that can cause disasters or catastrophes, and to ensure the continuance of the organization within their planned lifetime. Assets are categorized as either living things, nonliving things, cultural, or economic. Hazards are categorized by their cause, either natural or human-made. The entire strategic management process is divided into four fields to aid in identification of the processes. The four fields normally deal with risk reduction, preparing resources to respond to the hazard, responding to actual damage caused by the hazard and limiting further damage (e.g., emergency evacuation, quarantine, mass decontamination, etc.), and returning as close as possible to the state before the hazard incident. The field occurs in both the public and private sector, sharing the same processes, but with different focuses. Emergency Management is a strategic process, and not a tactical process, thus it usually resides at the Executive level in an organization. It normally has no direct power, but serves as an advisory or coordinating function to ensure that all parts of an organization are focused on the common goal. Effective Emergency Management relies on a thorough integration of emergency plans at all levels of the organization, and an understanding that the lowest levels of the organization are responsible for managing the emergency and getting additional resources and assistance from the upper levels.

The most senior person in the organization administering the program is normally called an Emergency Manager, or a derived form based upon the term used in the field (e.g., Business Continuity Manager).

Fields that are under this definition include:

* Civil Defense (used in the United States during the Cold War, focusing on protection from nuclear attack)

* Civil Protection (widely used with the European Union)

* Crisis Management (emphasizes the political and security dimension rather than measure to satisfy the immediate needs of the civilian population)

* Disaster Risk Reduction (focus on the mitigation and preparedness aspects of the emergency cycle)

* Homeland Security (used in the United States, focusing on preventing terrorism)

* Business Continuity and Business Continuity Planning (Focused on ensuring a continuous upward trend of income)

* Continuity of Government

Literature Review

Phases and Professional Activities

The nature of government depends on local economic and social conditions. Some disaster relief experts such as Fred Cuny have noted that in a sense the only real disasters are economic. Experts, such as Cuny, have long noted that the cycle of Emergency Management must include long-term work on infrastructure, public awareness, and even human justice issues. The process of Emergency Management involves four phases: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Recently the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA have adopted the terms "resilience" and "prevention" as part of the paradigm of EM. The latter term was mandated by PKEMA 2006 as statute enacted in October 2006 and made effective March 31, 2007. The two terms definitions do not fit easily as separate phases. Prevention is 100% mitigation, by definition. Resilience describes the goal of the four phases: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.


Mitigation efforts are attempts to prevent hazards from developing into disasters all together or to reduce the effects of disasters. The mitigation phase differs from the other phases in that it focuses on long-term measures for reducing or eliminating risk. The implementation of mitigation strategies is a part of the recovery process if applied after a disaster occurs. Mitigation measures can be structural or non-structural. Structural measures use technological solutions like flood levees. Non-structural measures include legislation, land-use planning (e.g. the designation of nonessential land like parks to be used as flood zones), and insurance. Mitigation is the most cost-efficient method for reducing the effect of hazards although not always the most suitable. Mitigation includes providing regulations regarding evacuation, sanctions against those who refuse to obey the regulations (such as mandatory evacuations), and communication of risks to the public. Some structural mitigation measures may harm the ecosystem.

A precursor to mitigation is the identification of risks. Physical risk assessment refers to identifying and evaluating hazards. The hazard-specific risk combines a hazard's probability and effects. An equation states that the hazard multiplied by the populations' vulnerability to that hazard produces a risk catastrophe modeling. The higher the risk, the more urgent that the vulnerabilities to the hazard are targeted by mitigation and preparedness. If, however, there is no vulnerability then there will be no risk, e.g. an earthquake occurring in a desert where nobody lives.


Preparedness is a continuous cycle of planning, managing, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, creating, monitoring, evaluation and improvement activities to ensure effective coordination and the enhancement of capabilities of concerned organizations



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