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Police command and control


Topic Overview
In this topic you will examine several actual events that have taken place around the world and been subjected to immense scrutiny in various ways.

Drawing on your readings and deliberations from the previous 3 topics you should consider the following in the context of each incident;

· the attributes that contribute to effective command and examine different styles of command. By considering the character, experience and training of the Commander you should examine to what extent these factors influence the ability to make timely critical decisions.

· identify how prepared the ‘commander(s)’ and the relevant organisations were in each case. The examples provided are ones which would test any command role anywhere in the world and you will need to consider whether the preparation and structures put in place to deal with each one were sufficient.

· the range of external factors that influenced and impacted upon the command of each incident. You should analyse each event, identify the factors in that case and explain the effectiveness of the operational response.

Objectives for this topic
At the completion of this topic you should be able to:

· demonstrate an understanding of the principles underpinning effective command and the influence of leadership with a wide range of incidents internationally;

· demonstrate an understanding of how personal characteristics and experiences of Commanders can influence decision making and;

· demonstrate an understanding of and practical solutions to the competing risks and priorities in operational command wherever and whenever a major incident takes place.

You will be expected to have a view on the local, regional, national and international responses to each incident, before, during and in the recovery phase of the operation.

There are 4 major incidents that you will be required to research and then examine in detail the Command of each one from the planning and preparedness phase through to the response and the subsequent recovery. The four incidents are;

· London Riots ( August 2011)
· Once having researched this event and read the relevant documentation you will be expected to analyse the preparedness and operational response to the riots by the Metropolitan Police in London.

Being cognisant of the external influences that existed at the time you will be expected to examine the operational command decisions in light of the political and social environment both before and during the events that materialised. Drawing on the last 3 topics you will be expected to express a rational and evidenced base opinion on how the police reacted to a dynamic and widespread series of incidents affecting the whole of the UK.

Metropolitan Police Service Final Report ‘4 Days in August’

After the Riots : Final Report of the Riots Community Panel (2012).

Reading the Riots: Investigation England’s Summer of Disorder

Adapting to Protest: Her Majesty’s Chief Inpector of Constabulary (2009).

Norwegian Shootings/Breivik (July 2011)
Once having researched this event and read the relevant documentation, and again, drawing on the findings of the last 3 topics, you will be expected to discuss and analyse the operational response to this tragic event. By examining the planning for such an incident you should express your own view on whether the Commander(s) and relevant organisations were suitably prepared to deal with these events drawing the evidence from both the initial bombing outside the government buildings to the mass shootings that followed. You should analyse, not just the police preparedness but also that of other agencies and look at what joint plans and multi agency exercising had taken place prior to the events occurring.
You should discuss the command structures that were in place during the operational response and how this affected the communication aspects of the overall response.

Required Readings
Rapport fra 22. Juli-kommisjonen: Preliminary English Version of Selected Chapters. (2012)

Armellino, Rick. (2007, July 23). When They Come to Kill the Kids: The Critical Need for “Immediate Action Rapid Deployment” in School Invasions.

Bangstad, Sindre. (2012). Public Anthropology: Terror in Norway. American Anthropologist, Vol(114)2, p. 351-358.

Christensen, T., Laegreid, P., & Rykkja, L. (2012, June). How to Cope with a Terrorist Attack? – A Challenge for the Political and Administrative Leadership.

Lewis, M. (2012, August 13). Anders Behring Breivik could have been halted – report, The Guardian.

Price, J., & Sandelson, M. (2011, 19 August). Police reveal Breivik called twice, broke communication, The Foreigner.

Heimdal, H. J., Nakstad, A. R., Nilsen, J. E., Rehn, M., Rimstad, R., Sandberg, M., et al. (2012). Oslo government district bombing and Utoya island shooting July 22, 2011: The immediate prehospital emergency medical service response. [Report]. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 20, 3.

Vancouver Hockey Riots (June 2011)
Once having researched this event in 2011 and read the relevant documentation you will be expected to discuss how the police and other agencies responded to these riots. By drawing on the previous riots and the subsequent reviews in 1994, you should analyse how the commander(s) and the leadership from other agencies, including Government, used the lessons learned from previous experiences to influence how they dealt with the riots 17 years later.

Relying on your findings and research from the other 3 topics, you should express an evidenced based opinion on whether the riots of 2011 could have been prevented or dealt with differently. You will be expected to include the issues of command accountability and responsibility in respect of protecting the communities who suffer from the effects of such an incident.

Required Readings
British Columbia Police Commission. (1994). Report on the Riot that occurred in Vancouver on June 14-15, 1994 Vancouver Police Chief fires back at critic. (2011, 21 June). CBC News.

Drews, Keven. (2011, 5 September). Review of Vancouver riot will look at whether lessons of 1994 melee learned. The Star.

Furlong, John. & Keefe, Douglas. (2011). The Night the City Became a Stadium. Independent Review of the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Playoffs Riot. Government of British Columbia. Vancouver.

Hockey Riots in Canada. (2011, 15 June). The Canadian Press.

Vancouver Police Department. (2011). Vancouver Police department 2011, Stanley Cup Riot Review.

Wawryk, Amanda. (2011, 23 June). Smaller Police budget for 2011 Playoffs vs last year. Globe and Mail.

· Victoria Bushfires (February 2009)

Once you have researched and read the associated documentation surrounding the mass fires in Victoria, Australia in 2009 you will be expected to provide a rational and in depth analysis of how the overall Commander was perceived by the media and subsequently the public. Drawing on your references from Topic 1, you should discuss the ‘emotional intelligence’ and ‘social awareness’ of command in this event and analyse the leadership qualities that were reported upon.

You should include your own hypothesis on how the commander reacted and argue, by using references and facts, on whether you consider it right and proper that Leaders and Commanders should be scrutinised and held so accountable when dealing with incidents of this nature.

By examining the Victoria Bush Fires of 2009 you should discuss the importance of command experience and training for dealing with major incidents.

Required Readings

Andrew, T. Analysis of Command and Control Networks on Black Saturday [online]. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, The, Vol. 26, No. 3, 2011: 20-29.

Bennett, C., Barber, G., & Fulcher, M. (2010). Effective Disaster Recovery: What lessons can we learn from the Australian Black Saturday Bushfires?

Black Saturday: Who was in charge?: [More than 100,000 emergency services staff and volunteers stood ready to defend the community against Australia’s worst recorded natural disaster.] [online]. Journal (Police Association (Victoria)), Aug 2009: 12-13.

Lapsley, Craig. Opinion: Fire Services Commissioner for Victoria [online]. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, The, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2011: 15-16.

Herman, B. L., & Arnold, M. H. (2010). Organising Response to Extreme Emergencies: The Victorian Bushfires of Journal of Public Administration, 69(4), 372-386. Christine Nixon’s statement in full.(2010, 16 April). Herald Sun.

Teague, B., McLeod, R. & Pascoe, S. (2010). 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission Final Summary Report.

Emergency Management Manual Victoria (2012)


Please also use Emotional Intelligence (Goleman. Daniel) Leadership The power of emotional intelligence Page 99 to 104.

In all 4 events, you will be expected to include references in your final assignment in this subject to the following issues and what, if any, impact they had on the command:

· Experience and training of the commander, including emotional intelligence and social awareness.

· The command structures and preparedness of commanders to deal with the events, including lessons learned from previous similar incidents around the world.

· The external, and to some extent, the internal issues, that directly impacted on the decision making processes of the commanders in each event.

· The review processes that followed each event and how intrusive the scrutiny was, at the same time analysing how each event could assist Commanders of the future.

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