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Communication and Public Health Emergencies: A Guide for Law Enforcement CD

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2009
72 pages
One in a series ot three documents on the law enforcement response to public health emergencies, this report identifies the issues that law enforcement executives should address in their public health communications plans.
This guide is divided into six sections. Section one, "Overview of Risk Communication," defines "risk communication" as "an interactive process of exchange of information and opinion among individuals, groups, and institutions ; often involves multiple messages about the nature of risk or expressing concerns, opinion, or reactions to risk messages or to legal and institutional arrangements for risk management." The topics discussed in this section are the importance of effective communication, how risk communication fits within an overall communication plan for law enforcement, factors that shape public perceptions of risk before and during a public health emergency, and the value of advance communications. Section 2, "Internal Communication Planning," includes topics on planning prior to and during a public health emergency, as well as protecting and educating agency personnel. Section three, " Interagency Communications," discusses communications with other agencies both prior to and during a public health emergency. Section four, "Comunicating With the Public," addresses such communication prior to and during a public health emergency, with attention to communicating with community volunteer groups, the content of and channels used for such communication, and getting the message to special populations. Section five, "Working With the News Media," focuses on such communication before and during a public health emergency, and it outlines the content of messages for news media. Section six, "Recovery and Incorporating Lessons Learned," addresses communication with various entities about lessons learned from a public health emergency response. 5 appendixes with supplementary information and additional risk-communication resources

Date Published: October 1, 2009