Crisis Management or Vice-Versa?

It is law enforcement's responsibility to understand that crisis management is far superior to management by crisis.


As stated previously, planning for every crisis is nearly impossible but adhering to a plan for crisis planning is manageable. Effective crisis planning should consist of first understanding the organizations Stabilization Points. These points or benchmarks are not necessarily single focused. Stabilization Points may and will probably be different for every responding component. For example, in the event of an Active School Shooter, law enforcements primary Stabilization Point is to eliminate the threat (the shooter) and stabilize the incident where emergency medical services personnel can begin to treat the injured. Law enforcements primary Stabilization Point may have be achieved, but the emergency medical services staff's Stabilization Point of triage, treatment and evacuation has not been achieved. Subsequently, their crisis has just occurred. Law enforcement then will move to their secondary Stabilization Point of assisting in triage, clearing traffic patterns for evacuation and scene stabilization. These are secondary Stabilization Points for law enforcement alone.

Once Stabilization Points are identified in a Crisis Plan, then Causative Factors should be taken into account. Continuing with the example of the Active School Shooter, plans for maintaining service to the community while the Active Shooting crisis is occurring must be clearly addressed in order to prevent another crisis from occurring. This is Causative planning. Finally, Recovery planning must be created. This would be the final step in completing the Security Plan. Recovery planning restores the situation to normal operations. Victim, responder, organization and community assistance is the goal of Recovery planning.

In summary, we all know and accept that a crisis can occur at any time, especially in the law enforcement profession. Therefore accepting that Security plans are theoretical and Emergency plans are operational, as well as understanding the importance of Stabilization Points, is critical in crisis planning. It is law enforcements responsibility to understand that crisis management is far superior to management by crisis.



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