Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Criminal Justice Sciences
Since September 11, 2001, the environments in which law enforcement agencies operate have been changing. Contingency theory hypothesizes that an organization adapts to their environment through organizational structure and contingencies in order to accomplish a state of fit or higher performance. Utilizing the contingency theory framework, the study looked to answer two research questions: (1) Do municipal and county police agencies believe they have the necessary resources and training to prevent and or respond to the next terrorist attack? (2) How does agency size, structure, funding, and perceived risk influence terrorism preparedness? A sample of 902 county and municipal law enforcement agencies from the East Central region of the United States was surveyed. A total of 522 electronic surveys were sent to municipal and county agencies across 5 states. The remaining 380 agencies were sent physical survey copies.
The current findings explained that law enforcement agencies believe they have the necessary resources and training to respond and or prevent a terrorist attack. The variable risk was found to be a weak but positive predictor of preparedness. The study concluded that funding, risk, and structure did influence an agency's level of terrorism preparedness. Overall, the contingency theory framework did help explain terrorism preparedness among law enforcement agencies. Implications and future research based on these outcomes are discussed at the end of the study.
Comens, Cayla, "Terrorism Preparedness: a Law Enforcement Perspective" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 491.