Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Science (DSc) in Emergency Management

Department

Emergency Management

Committee Chair

Chongming Wang

Abstract

Role abandonment of employees is a vulnerability of first responder organizations that can be exposed when disasters occur. Organizational vulnerabilities created by role abandonment of first responders can be reduced by understanding the willingness and ability of employees to report for duty during disasters. To gain a better understanding of law enforcement organizational vulnerability to disasters, this study utilizes an online survey disseminated to police officers (n = 314) working for a police department along the Gulf Coast to determine their willingness and ability to report for duty and examines the barriers and facilitators impacting their decision to report for duty during six disaster scenarios. The results showed that the overwhelming majority of participants were somewhat willing to very willing and somewhat able to very able to report for each of the disaster scenarios presented in the survey. The willingness and ability of local law enforcement officers may vary depending on the disaster type. Officers who were willing and able identified fewer barriers than the officers who were unwilling and unable across each disaster scenario presented. In terms of facilitators, officers who were willing and able identified more facilitators which would increase their willingness and ability to report across each disaster scenario presented. Local law enforcement organizations may be able to reduce vulnerabilities by implementing disaster specific policies that address the barriers and facilitators of their officers to report for duty.

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