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Responding to Catastrophe via Law Enforcement Deployment Teams: A Policy Analysis

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Master's thesis

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This thesis is a policy analysis of the Department of Homeland Securitys DHS Law Enforcement Deployment Team concept. The concept outlines the need to form specialized regional law enforcement teams to be deployed across the nation to stricken regions. As written, these teams are designed to provide a backfill to law enforcement agencies who require additional assistance post-natural disaster or post-terror attack. Many of the tenets in this DHS concept are derived from existing federal teams such as the Disaster Medical Assistance Teams and Urban Search and Rescue Teams. The concept also outlines how teams will be comprised, what their expected missions will be and the general vision for how they will be equipped, trained and transported. However, analysis of this policy proposal showed the DHS concept does not provide a proposed structure or management organization to manage this potential national resource. Additionally, it lacks detail on how teams would be monitored, administered, and readied for deployment. This gap was the basis of this thesis project. The analysis of this condition starts by outlining the debate in law enforcement over the efficacy of centralized versus decentralized police structures. A brief historical narrative of the origins of U.S. law enforcement and review of the literature was used to demonstrate the breadth of this debate. Existing law enforcement management structures were reviewed to determine potential smart practices and to outline past errors to develop guideposts to be used in formulation of the law enforcement deployment team management system.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Sociology and Law

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