Key Components of a Risk Assessment Program

National Police Training
January 1, 2013 — 1,586 views  
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Risk assessment deals with identifying, evaluating and determining both the qualitative and quantitative levels of risk involved in a given situation. Some standards must be used to determine what level of risk is acceptable in any situation. The process helps to rank risks according to their possibility and impact. Law enforcement personnel must consider a number of factors if they want to prepare an effective risk assessment program.

Risk assessment documents include several things, among of which are:

• A list of possible risks
• The things any given risk can affect
• Control measures that have already been implemented
• Rating of risks
• Better measures to prevent the possible risks
• Names of the personnel responsible for each step

Any good risk assessment program must have some main components.

Threat Assessment

This is a systematic approach in identifying and evaluating either potential or existing threats. Threat assessment focuses on two main areas:

• Potential threat situations
• Determining possible adversaries, methods and capabilities

Law enforcement personnel can apply threat assessment in several areas, including:

• Mission planning
• Border security
• Financial crimes
• Drug trafficking organizations
• Infrastructure security

Threat assessment helps to optimize the allocation of law enforcement resources and protect law enforcement personnel.

Vulnerability Assessment

Any good risk assessment program must determine the vulnerabilities found in the areas concerned, such as physical structures or personnel protection processes and systems. This component focuses on determining any weaknesses that other people may take advantage of in one way or another.

Vulnerabilities may be found in many areas, including:

• Behavior of personnel involved
• Practices and operations of personnel
• Locations of both equipment and people
• Various properties of equipment
• Particular characteristics of concerned facilities

Impact or Consequence Analysis

This third component of risk assessment involves analyzing the effects that an event or series of events have immediately, in the short term and in the long term. The component involves estimating the level of damage or loss that the event or events are expected to have.

Data Mining

Law enforcement personnel can take advantage of data mining to improve their risk assessment strategies. For example, they can use the method to identify the characteristics of the robberies that led to assaults in the past. This can help the law enforcement personnel identify scenarios that are likely to end in assaults.

Data mining can help law enforcers to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.


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