Critical Event Management in the Justice and Security


Company managers will confirm that the occurrence of any unplanned and unforeseen event is a matter of constant concern. These events have the potential to affect the normal running of business. Such events include sudden departure of an employee, theft of company assets or even a sudden increase or decrease in demand of services. This fear is compounded by the fact that the crisis may occur without warning. These occurrences are also called crises or critical events.

The nature of these events is outside the company’s ordinary occurrences and therefore has the potential to overwhelm the coping skills of not only individuals but also the company. Depending on the response to the crisis, the consequences can be dire. Individuals may under go stress and trauma while the companies may be left vulnerable as they loose business, clients, popularity and market share. Some company’s have even been known to collapse under crisis.

Critical events are more of emergencies than disasters. Emergencies require urgent response while disaster requires urgent state attention. In preparation for such crises company, engage emergency managers with specific task not only of preparing the company to survive but also minimize the impacts of such occurrences. They are mandated and equipped with the necessary tools to restore a company’s normal operations within the shortest time possible after a crisis (Boyd & Caton, 1998). Companies therefore need strategic crisis managers to help them cope. This paper endeavors to explain the role of scenario-based planning and its influence on institutional strategic management in justice and security organizations.

Justice and security organizations can use scenario based planning as strategic management tools to predict the organization future and thus help in preparing for any eventual crisis that may affect the normal business process. It involves identifying the company’s key issues that are fundamental to company’s future survival. Out of this, companies develop a number of alternative coping strategies. Emergency manager’s also use this knowledge acquired to enlighten the entire human resource and prepare it for such events (Börjesson, 2007).

Scenario Based Management in the Law Enforcement

Scenario based planning is a strategic management technique that has been employed by the military for long. Law enforcers have borrowed this idea and incorporated it in training law enforcement officers. Scenario planning is used to develop training aims, goals and objectives that equip the trainees with appropriate reflex skills necessary to respond to crisis. Trainers simulate crises occurrences and the trainees are taken through them repetitively (Lynch, 2005).

Strategic planners in law enforcement also recognize that there are other technical and tactical aspects that the officers need to be trained on. In these simulated role-plays, officers are trained on how to safe guard their own security. They are also equipped with the necessary knowledge on law. Other than this, it is important for trainee officers to develop effective interpersonal skills, as they have to communicate their intentions effectively to the suspects.

They are also trained on the appropriate use of force to subdue the suspects (Lynch, 2005). Lynch (2005) also argues that the success of scenario-based training for law enforcers largely depends on the selection criteria of the trainees. Recruits are taken through a rigorous selection procedure to isolate the persons with the desirable skills, talents and temperaments for this kind of job.

Scenario Based Management in the Justice System

Justice systems develop efficient measures in their efforts to prepare for future crises. Patterns in current crimes and justice issues are analyzed and stipulated as statistics to help to predict the direction the organization should take. These patterns are influenced by changes in population, leadership, policy and the justice system itself. All stakeholders in the justice system including community representative are invited to workshops that discuss these patterns. A hypothetical consensus is reached that stipulate either a “worst case scenario” (a situation where all negative projections might occur) or “most likely scenario” (Walker, n.d.).

This hypothesis should be recorded and filed for comparison in future and establish the extent of its accuracy. The system not only analyses crime rates but also the justice system workload. This helps the system in two ways: budgeting for the exercise and, preparing adequate personnel expansion for future needs. This kind of strategic management is very complicated and requires the involvement of managers in all segments in the justices system. A management committee is set up to liaise with these managers and facilitate its implementation.


Scenario based management is intended to equip a company with survival tools should it experience an immediate occurrence that is outside its normal business practice. Therefore, crises managers need to perform thorough analyses on the current and past emergencies. The report that they derive from these analyses should be used to prepare the organization for future occurrences. Law enforcement and justice organizations must equip themselves well to offer their services effectively upon a crisis. Scenario based planning is usually speculative in nature and future outcomes may vary. Therefore, further studies should be conducted to establish how these organizations can bridge the gap between the pre-speculated hypotheses and the actual occurrences.

Reference List

Börjesson, M. (2007). Scenario planning resources. Futuramb. Web.

Boyd, A., & Caton, J. (1998). Critical incident management guidelines. Prepared for Volpe national transportation systems centre. Web.

Lynch, M. (2005). Developing scenario-based training program. FBI Law Enforcement bulletin. Web.

Walker, J. (n.d.). Evidence-based strategic planning in the criminal justice system and in crime prevention. John walker crime trend analysis. Web.

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