Improving Multiagency Response

Sidebar to the article Interagency Coordination: Lessons Learned From the 2005 London Train Bombings by Kevin J. Strom, Ph.D., and Joe Eyerman, Ph.D.

When analyzing London's response to the 2005 bombings (see main story), we used a general coordination model that we developed in previous research.[1] The model provides a conceptual summary of the process, depicting benefits of multiagency coordination and common barriers encountered. It offers a first step in developing evidence-based solutions to improve coordination, including the development of performance metrics.

Agencies can minimize the common barriers to effective coordination by developing self-regulating, long-term processes — or "coordination regimes" — that facilitate working together in preparation and response activities. Failure to develop effective processes for working across agencies prior to an emergency event can result in competition across agencies, which, in turn, can lead to an ineffective joint response.

Future work would continue to define this model and apply it to multiagency-based systems that exist currently in U.S. jurisdictions. This could include, for example, evaluating which types of barriers are most common within and across jurisdictions as well as the most effective solutions used for solving these problems.


[note 1] Eyerman, J., and K.J. Strom, A Cross-National Comparison of Interagency Coordination Between Law Enforcement and Public Health (pdf, 182 pages), final report submitted to the National Institute of Justice, Washington, DC: February 2006 (NCJ 212868).

Date Created: October 27, 2008