Students’ perception of police readiness to respond to disasters caused by a COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has pointed out the need to examine the role of the police in emergencies caused by various infectious diseases as much as possible. The aim of the study is to determine the perception of students of the University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, who are studying to become police officers, about the actions of the police in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, i.e. the readiness of police officers to respond in the current as well as in the future pandemics. The research used a modified survey questionnaire from the previous research. The survey was anonymous. All respondents voluntarily agreed to participate in the research conducted from May to June 2022. The research data were collected from 105 students of the University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies. According to the respondents, the police officers did well in the new circumstances given the lack of protective equipment and insufficient training for such situations. It was assessed that the police are one of the key entities in opposing the COVID-19 pandemic. Research findings can help police organizations plan their work during infectious disease pandemics. Above all, in the planning of the procurement of protective equipment, in education of future police officers by introducing new topics in training related to the work of the police in infectious disease pandemics, such as improving communication with citizens, and its implementation in online format. The findings of the study can be an incentive to other researchers as a basis for further research in the field of police work in emergencies because there are few of them in the scientific literature, and those related to police work in a pandemic are almost non-existent.
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