The police department faces a number of hazards which are likely to lead to loss. Risk management is as important in the police department as it is in other organizations. It involves analysis of loss, potential loss, threats, and hazards. There are assets that need protection in addition to security needed for each jurisdiction. Potential assets at the police department include cash, fleets of vehicles, trained officers, secure premises, information, resources, specialized equipments, and technology. The police department faces some of the risks that are generally overlooked. This includes the risk to property and security needs.
Threat assessment (two potential hazards)
The first step to risk analysis is a conducting a comprehensive assessment of existing and potential threat. It involves an evaluation of whatever security information to determine the potential hazards and losses. All the four types of risks are potential risks to the police department. They include pure risk, speculative, inherent, static, and dynamic risk. The department faces the risk of terrorism and politically motivated violence. With the growing acts of terror conducted in various parts of the country, the department is one of the main targets for terrorism due to the fact that it is strongly against it. The threat will obviously be carried out by extremist groups who have from secret base in the country in addition to getting support and reinforcement from al-qaeda. The country is also seen as one of the key enemies to extremism further making its security agencies at the risk of terror activities. It is expected that the number people joining the extreme islamist groups to increase. There is also a proliferation of small arms which increases the threat of criminal activities and politically motivated violence.
The risk of terrorism can be categorized under speculative risks which can be defined as those risks acquired when an organization launches a new program or initiative. Since the police department has responded to the growing number of terror acts by launching an anti terrorism program, terrorism is going to be a huge risk in the entire country. Particularly, it is likely to target religious organizations, the police department, and political leaders. Terrorism can take various forms including suicide bombing, cyber terrorism, hostage taking, and piracy among others. When it takes the form of cyber terrorism, it becomes a pure risk, which is a risk to a system. It is a criminal activity that can cause a change or loss to an entire system.
The risk of criminal activities and politically motivated violence can be categorized under inherent risks to the police department. These are risk that cannot be avoided by a particular organization selling a particular product in a particular industry. For instance, in the security industry, it is expected for crime of whatever magnitude to occur. The industry is exists in order to reduce, control, and manage crime. Officers undergo training with this risk in mind. In addition, the special equipments used such as armor are meant for reducing the risk.
The sources of risk
Human factor is the greatest source of risk involved at the department. It is humans who conduct and plan criminal activities. Similarly, failure of officers to perform their duties effectively can create loopholes in security which criminals are likely capitalize on. Errors can be committed but sometimes they lead to costly consequences.
But in the police department, crime and civil disorder is a major source of risk. Policemen and officers conduct their duties bearing in mind the potential risk of facing criminal gangs and unruly groups. Their function in the society is seen as enmity to outlawed activities carried out by criminals and terrorists.
Cyber terrorism is however a risk caused by reliance on a certain type of machinery or technology. Certain types of networks can easily be broken into by internet criminals. With a weak network and computer systems, it is highly likely for the department to come under cyber attack. There is sensitive information that needs to be protected from potential loss. The information faces the risk of being retrieved illegally by criminals with the ability to hack into computer systems.
Counter measures (polices and designs)
Risk management not only involves identification and assessment of threats but also development of counter measures. The organization has to be ready to address the problem when it comes. Addressing the risk, may take the form of avoidance, redistribution, transfer, spreading, abatement, reduction, and acceptance. Risk mitigation or avoidance is the first major concern when developing policies and designing strategies for the counter measures. It is basically accomplished by eliminating the hazard and (or) eliminating the activity that leads to the hazard. In the police department, the intelligence activities are aimed at identifying the terrorism hot spots. This requires a multi agency approach due to the global nature of terrorism. The department cannot rely on its own resources and capabilities. It requires support from foreign agencies that are professionally deal in countering terrorism. Some of the foreign intelligence services can however not be trusted because they push for their country’s special interest. Some of them seek to compete for access to resources, technological development, and protection of security interests.
Intelligent activities have to be conducted on a regular basis. Terrorists and criminals always change their plans and tactics of attack. In the 80s, terrorists used the tactic of grenade and bombs attacks. This changed during the 90s when they used cyber attacks to cause threats. In the new century, suicide bombing was the new tactic. These changes can only be identified with the constant intense intelligent activities.
The intelligence activities are aimed at eliminating the risk. Similarly, there are strong government policies against the activities of terrorists and criminal gangs. Another counter measure is security. With increase in global terrorism and criminal activities, more resources have been devoted to increasing the level of physical security in buildings and premises. Prime target areas have been identified and security beefed up. Such areas include religious organizations, port terminals, police stations, and government buildings.
Risk spreading is similar to redistribution and it is meant to reduce the potential risk by involving multiple agencies. For instance, in policing, the risk of terrorism can be spread by involving communities and other special agencies
Probability involves quantifying the possibility of occurrence of the risk and potential loss. For the threat of terrorism, the probability of occurrence is high. It can be quantified at 75 percent which means that the event is most likely to occur. For the threat of criminal activities, the probability is certain because it is an inherent risk. Therefore, the probability is more than 80 percent.
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