The impact of police and media relations on a crisis
Castro, C. Daniel
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Effective crisis management and communication is crucial during any catastrophic event, otherwise fear, panic, and mass hysteria can prevail. The public relies heavily on the government (police) and the media for information during a crisis. This thesis focuses on a joint police and media response plan and outlines a preparation plan to assist the public during a terrorist attack or similar crisis. Historically, the police and the media have had opposing views regarding sharing and disseminating information to the public. This report studies the inherent mistrust between both organizations and proposes strategies to overcome the suspicion and build a partnership. Proven community policing models within the Philadelphia Police Department are examined as a potential template for a police and media partnership. Survey results and focus group responses from the police, media, and the community are presented. This document examines national and international lessons learned and offers best practices on providing timely and accurate information, educating and informing the public, and improving communication and trust between the police and the media. The proposed police and media training curriculum breaks down the cultural barriers and develops mutual respect for each individual profession.
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