New Web App Helps Officers Respond to Environmental Crises

LEMIT

A new web app was developed by LEMIT to help keep officers safe when responding to environmental crises.

The Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) developed a web application for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to help keep law enforcement officers safe when responding to environmental crises in the field.

The “Always Play it SAFE” application is designed to enhance the ability of law enforcement and public safety officials to respond safely to incidents of potential or suspected environmental crimes and hazardous materials. It provides information on emergency response, safety equipment, resources, and scene documentation. The application, which was developed in partnership with LEMIT, Sam Houston State University and Sunflower Systems, is available in the IACP web site at http://www.theiacp.org/chemsafety/

“It has been an honor to work alongside true experts in the field to help develop this much-needed tool for the first response community,” said Andrea Hoke. “In this business, all too often an officer’s personal safety is ignored to help protect those they serve. We hope this app will bring awareness to those officers.” The web application focuses on the health and safety of law enforcement officers and the dangers of exposure to chemical, biological, and radioactive materials. It provides information on how to protect and preserve evidence and the potential impact of environmental crisis on human health, the environment, and wildlife.

Among the features of the application are:

  • Emergency response: Provides general information on responding to an environment emergency and identifies potential impacts on wildlife, transportation, industry, residents, agriculture, and from dangerous drugs
  • Safety equipment: Offers recommendations and considerations on the use of protective equipment by law enforcement officers
  • Resource information: Provides a list of free applications, links to HazMat response sites, and contacts for state and federal agencies as well as standardized forms and documents used to respond to environmental emergencies
  • Scene Documentation: Offers steps for responding to and documenting an environmental hazards scene, including sketches, photography, label identification, and evidence collection to minimize effects on people, the environment and wildlife

The project is an outgrowth of Project EnCriPT (Environmental Crime Program Training) at LEMIT, a program to train civil and criminal enforcement professionals at the local, state and tribal level in responding to environmental issues. The project, which was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, provides online and hands-on courses to law enforcement officer, investigators, sanitarians, and code enforcers.

Member of The Texas State University System