Research Methods to Criminal Justice and Security

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Research Methods to Criminal Justice and Security


Recent security developments have shifted focus to susceptibility of the US critical infrastructure to hazardous events of terrorism. This means that there must be measures taken to improve the safety of the transportation systems in the country. One of the major security risks that are facing the transportation sector is the threat of terrorism and gang crime. When there are attacks from terrorist and criminal gangs, there are various forms of security responses that come from the different security agencies to help in the management of the security crisis .Some of the security management operations include rescue, traffic control, transportation of the victims, evacuation, media communication and restoration of service.

Security Management

To manage the security in the public transportation systems in the country there needs to be a process of vision building especially drawn from the lessons of previous occurrences to be able to prepare for newer threats.   This means that there needs a lot of preparedness in the management of security operations in the transport sector, through the identification of the security challenges and development of  tailor made  systems that easily address the diverse operations and the security provided local public transportation.

The establishment of a security and emergency preparedness programs can help in giving guidance on how public transportation systems can be utilized to improve other levels of internal security, management of security disasters and external plans for coordination with the local law enforcement programs while enhancing systems of disaster response management. Terrorism remains the major threat to public transport and there are fundamental principles that should be invoked to counter terror activities in public transportation (Novak, 2006). One of the fundamental principles is the capability evaluation support to enhance the efforts of the systems of transportation that are geared towards assessment of the existing security levels and the systems disaster preparedness program. This will assist in the mitigation of terrorism and related threats that are there in the transportation system plus the susceptibility of the system to   disasters. The most effective way of approaching this is by carrying out a threat and vulnerability assessment that will highlight the methods that help the recommendations, which are integral to the requirements of every system. This can help in the mitigation of threats in a new area of public transport like prevention of risks posed by bombs and managing the problems.

It can also mitigate chemical attacks and the dissemination of the emergency data to the   public. The other important aspect being addressed in this proposal is the provision of training and supervisory programs that can be easily updated or reviewed. This is because of the security conditions whose requirements are increasing (Shepherd, 1998). This can be approached through the integration of these public transportation systems to community in form of full-scale exercises and drills. Design strategies can be instituted to improve security in public transportation for normal and emergency cases (Maxwell, 1992).

While creating security measures, it is important to ask questions whose answers will greatly create a response mechanism in the public transport system. Some of the questions include the following. what type of weapons can the criminals use against the public transport system, how can the mechanism identify an incident in the public transportation that is biological or chemical, what are the specific conditions that the operators, maintenance personnel and the users of public transport system should observe and how effective transportation can be in the eyes of the community (Shepherd, 1998). The procedures for training and reinforcement should be provided to all the stakeholders involved especially the employees so as to ensure that they comprehend what an unusual event is like and how they should respond to one like that. The managers should show commitment to the development of internal procedures that can help in addressing the above questions and for handling the reports of activities that are unusual, strange objects and should therefore encourage the enforcement of the procedures. These procedures can be integrated into the day-to-day operations and may have additional benefits like the improvement of the overall internal security mechanisms.

The events of the September eleventh put emphasis on the responsibility of the industry to keep the communities of the nation moving safely (Stopford, 1997). The transport systems are naturally exposed to open environments. They are designed to move people quickly through an area in the urban set up and therefore should provide uninhibited and easy access to the users of the system. Additionally, they are supposed to provide low cost transportation choices to everyone. Over the past number of years, there are gains that have been made but they have required tremendous input and management initiative, financial investment and coordination between vicarious agencies. In many agencies, however, there has been shortage of operational upgrades especially due to delays in resources and personnel provision and this has really affected the requirements for preparedness. The industry should be willing to experiment and share information in order to get ideas of alternatives that can be used to improve the transit systems in public transportation.

The federal and state governments and other local partners should be willing to support the homeland security that is vital for urban transportation because it promotes security advancement and programs for preparedness. The other factor is the readiness for managers to make decisions that border on the trade offs that are inherent in the cost, mobility and security by the use of the existing sophisticated processes of risk assessment (Shepherd, 1998). Something that is not new to public transportation industry is the defense against terrorism and the work to address credible threats from terrorism started in the late eighties. Even before the September eleven, al Qaeda attacks in the United States of America, the bombings of the public transport systems in urban areas of the Middle East, India, Europe and Latin America had already shown the vulnerability of the public transport infrastructure to a wide range of activities of terrorism. These experiences should continue to inform plans, exercises and trainings that will sustain the industry preparedness in the future years.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) should improve its support for security programs through intensive research, training and issuing of guidelines for transportation safety.  The forty-nine CFR 659 that requires all agencies for rail transit to document their preparedness; and security should be reviewed to ensure that security plans programs are approved by the federal oversight authorities. The FTA should audit these requirements to ensure the plans of the agencies are timely and they tackle a wider range of contingencies. The FTA should also work closely with the federal disaster preparedness program to avert the consequences of a calamity like the one that happened in Japan after the Sarin release of the Tokyo subway that killed twelve people (Shepherd, 1998). However, there is the defense against weapons of mass destruction bill that started a program for the provision of training and tools of first response in the case of terrorism, there should be other stern measures that are actively implemented to cushion the country’s transit systems from any threat of terrorism. The public transportation police and personnel for operation should collaborate with the stakeholders of these security programs largely and participate in the anti terrorism training for land transportation. This is especially necessary due to the threat posed by the prevalence of WMD (Maxwell, 1992).


There should be community drilling plans and exercise programs that can become a significant component of the urban transportation preparedness for emergency. If this was in place prior to the September eleven attack, the effects of the attack would not have been magnanimous or even the terrorists would have had difficulties in planning the attack because they would have been restricted by the presence of such measures (Sunil, 2007). It is only after the attacks that the FTA began working closely with the transport industry. To respond to the new threats that are emerging in the transport industry FTA should launch a multipart initiative for transit security where there should be security assessments by the teams deployed by FTA. These teams should include experts, and anti terrorism personnel.

It should connect with security forums to offer free preparedness training for the transit agencies to equip them with the basic skills of handling emergencies in the transport system. Overall, the country preparedness mechanisms may be standard but there need to be vigilant mechanisms to deal with every possible threat to the security of the urban transit transportation because the country is still vulnerable to security issues that afflict the public transportation industry. These watertight measures will not only improve the security in the transport industry but they will also deter potential criminals from executing their malicious plans. Perfect preparedness programs are also essential to deal with natural disasters like floods.


Maxwell. G (1992). Ways of the World. Washington. Rutgers University Press.   Novak, K. (2006). Management of Transportation. NY: Thomson South-Western

Sunil, C.   (2007). Transit Security Management. NY: Pearson.  .

Shepherd. R. (1998). Security: Principles and Practice (2nd Ed.). Harlow: Longman

Stopford, M. (1997). Transport   Security. London: Routledge.

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