In his 30 years in law enforcement, including eight years as a Commanding Officer for the Metropolitan District Police, David Taylor practiced emergency and disaster management. He just didn’t think of it that way.
It was only when Taylor, now a Program Manager at G4S, the world’s largest security company, entered Georgetown’s Executive Master’s in Emergency & Disaster Management program that he noticed the strong parallels between policing and emergency management.
Consider, for example, the essential emergency management cycle, which includes preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. It sounds a lot like the “risk-based policing” that Taylor and his officers used to address crime. By focusing on poverty, substance abuse, and other root causes, they were able to reduce crime in the Sixth District for four straight years.
For his Capstone, or thesis, Taylor didn’t simply describe the similarities between policing and emergency management: he showed how emergency management can inform and enhance the work police do every day.
“My Capstone was on strengthening violent crime response in urban communities that invest in consequence management,” Taylor said. “My goal was to prove that emergency and disaster management has an intrinsic value in crime prevention, and I was able to show that without a doubt.”
Typically, professionals enter the executive master’s program with deep knowledge in their particular field, but varying levels of awareness of how their work fits into the overall emergency and disaster landscape. One benefit of the program is that it offers a framework for viewing all segments of emergency management and how they interact with one another—information that can help inform decision-making in the future.
“It’s a phenomenal program,” Taylor said. “And it’s that exposure that allows you to connect the dots.”