An emergency or a state of emergency, as defined by the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control and Armed Forces (2005), is a governmental declaration due to an extraordinary situation posing a threat to the nation. Upon declaration, citizens must be aware of what is happening to alter their normal behavior, as well as to put into practice emergency preparedness plans to impose limitations into civil liberties and human rights. Diverse criteria maybe considered in declaring such emergency, and in the case of law enforcement, can be an armed action opposing the state by either internal or external elements. For some governments, dictatorial regimes may declare martial law to allow greater authority for the military in order to protect the concerned citizens. Minimization or prevention of threats should therefore be a primary assurance, so planning for an emergency situation is relevant.
Emergency planning is a process to ensure that the state and the people comprising it may know what to do when such situation arises (Safe and Responsive Schools, n. d.). Steps needed in emergency planning are: communicating and consulting with everyone concerned; identifying and establishing the committee for planning; conducting an emergency risk study; identifying responsibilities; identifying availability of resources and services needed; developing arrangements and systems; documenting the plan; and lastly monitoring and reviewing what has been done in the implementation (Emergency Manual Australia, 2004, p. 16).
Planning for emergency is quite important for the security of the citizens and the nation. Concrete steps must be followed to effectively prevent or minimize damages threats may impose. Being vigilant is important, and cooperation between the law enforcement units and the ones being protected is important to ensure that maximum security and protection is achieved.
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