This “In-Brief” from the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence provides crime laboratory leaders and others at the forefront of a crisis response with a better understanding of how to be transparent in crisis management, both internally and externally, to ensure effective and ethical behavior.
Scandals at large organizations have proven repeatedly that the free flow of information, both internally and externally, is required for effective and ethical behavior. Demonstrating this fact includes first-hand commentary from the Houston Forensic Science Center (HESC), which has used transparency as the cornerstone of its crisis management strategy. Although not intended as a framework for handling a crisis, it provides lessons learned that are helpful in understanding and developing an individual laboratory’s or agency’s crisis management strategy. This brief’s discussion highlights the following aspects of crisis management: 1) Encouraging Transparency; 2) Preparing for a crisis; 3) Establishing a crisis response; and 4) Fostering a culture of acceptance.