Homeland Security Knowledge Management for local law enforcement in the national capital region
Walker, Deirdre I.
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Within the last three years, Homeland Security (HLS) has emerged as a new focus for local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. While local police must effectively address community needs associated with crime and quality of life, they are also now on the front lines of the nation's battle against the forces of international terrorism. Using existing knowledge (derived primarily from the emergency management field), police agencies have worked to develop locally relevant, viable and available expertise in the developing field of HLS. If federal estimates are accurate, however, a critical mass of these experts will retire within the next five years. As these organizational experts approach retirement, their communities will be forced to deal with the consequences of an exodus of fundamental knowledge, experience and expertise. Police organizations will be challenged to continue the efficient delivery of homeland security services absent the experts who were instrumental in developing the field. Existing research in Knowledge Management (KM) may offer some guidance to managing this problem. KM seeks to offer organizational guidance on how to identify knowledge generation processes and then leverage, maintain and manage knowledge assets within an organization. This thesis seeks to explore the potential application of KM theories to the real challenges faced by local police agencies in the National Capitol Region as they attempt to effectively engage HLS management.
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