Government expectations and the role of law enforcement in a biological incident
Demme, Nancy C.
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natural) that include responsibilities for law enforcement. Yet, police officers are unaccustomed to working with biological agents or responding to biological incidents, and have little if any experience in this area. Therefore, their expectations and concerns are unknown and their willingness to respond is untested. Through the use of focus groups, officers were asked questions about their thoughts and concerns regarding responding to a bioincident. The focus groups consisted of over forty police officers, from more than five different agencies in the National Capitol Region. The results of the research demonstrate that most police officers are willing to respond to a biological incident; however, they expect that their families will be properly cared for by their agency, which presents a problem if there is no vaccine available. Other areas that were explored were the officers' expectations of the public and of their respective agencies in a bio-incident. The research concludes with recommendations regarding ways to prepare the public to have realistic expectations of law enforcement, the need to create a Family Support Unit within each agency, as well as other recommendations.
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