Policing Katrina: Managing Law Enforcement in New Orleans







Hurricane Katrina impacted the Gulf Coast of the USA on a scale and intensity that was unprecedented for the region. Special problems of policing were posed before, during, and after the hurricane. Focusing on the law enforcement dimensions of the effects of Hurricane Katrina in the city of New Orleans, this paper reviews the organizational and functional adaptations of the New Orleans Police Department in view of the storm. Revealing the social implications of natural disasters, Hurricane Katrina presented a variety of police concerns, ranging from shifting duties involving crime control and emergency relief to the destruction of essential elements of the police infrastructure, the breakdown of police communication and transportation systems, and the need for coordination between police and other first responders. The police experiences of Katrina in New Orleans can serve as a guide for the management of law enforcement organizations to be prepared for similar disasters.

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