Law Enforcement Response to Terrorism: The Role of the Resilient Police Organization
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Paton, D and Violanti, JM, Law Enforcement Response to Terrorism: The Role of the Resilient Police Organization, International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 10, (2) pp. 125-136. ISSN 1522-4821 (2008) [Refereed Article]
Since September 11 the environment of contemporary policing has changed substantially. At the same time, it has become increasingly evident that police officers often demonstrate considerable resilience in the face of the critical incidents they face. This paper examines how resilience can be developed to promote officer well-being and performance when responding to acts of terrorism. It argues that to achieve this objective, it is necessary to expand the conceptualization of resilience in two important ways. First, terrorism has created an operating environment that differs qualitatively from that in which police agencies had been used to operating. Second, the agency itself plays a more important role in developing resilience than has hitherto been acknowledged. These new perspectives are integrated to argue that, when developing police resilience, the focus should be on recognizing the reality of contemporary policing and understanding how agencies and officers can learn from their experience of challenging events to develop in ways that facilitate their capacity to adapt and cope with challenges posed by their response to acts of terrorism. The ways in which agency and officer learning can occur and how the lessons learned can be sustained in the form of enhanced resilience are discussed. © 2008 Chevron Publishing.
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