District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department Environmental Protection Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan Chapter one Background District of Columbia (DC) tends to experience various different cases of crime on a daily basis. The city is prone to ever-changing kinds of threats on a daily basis. Attempts have been made to curb acts such as organized crimes, terrorism and other kinds of threats where major success strides have been made. These successes have been measured in the fact the rate of crime has reduced drastically for the last couple of years. For example, the city has recorded a decline in the number of homicide crimes. Some years back, the district was known as the nation’s “Murder Capital”. Much effort has been put on fighting criminal activities and hence the reduction of murder cases has been witnessed.

However, apart from the common kinds of crimes that the city has been able to deal with, there is also a significant need to address environmental protection of which is a new target zone for terrorism. After homeland security faced terrorism attacks back in 9/11, various different types of transformations has been made while trying to prevent such kind of incident to occur in future.

In this perspective, the District of Columbia has the responsibility of tightening its security measures when it comes to environmental protection so that it can protect its people from possible future attacks. Examples of attacks that relate to the environment include biological and certain radiological among others that are triggered by terrorists.

The District of Columbia also has the responsibility of ensuring that its citizens are protected from wastewater infrastructure. Moreover, the district has to make sure that industries and companies comply with the set health standards in order to protect citizens from chemical and hazardous materials. Therefore, addressing environmental protection in a more comprehensive manner will promote the security of the district to a higher extent. The fact that the district has been able to deal with other types of crimes effectively means that with the additional measures in environmental protection, this place will be among the safest in the entire homeland.

Statement of the Problem

The District of Columbia has a recorded history of experiencing various different kinds of environmental problems. For example, through their research, Davies & Darnall (2004) stated that some of the main environmental problems in the district include unsafe drinking water, air pollution and lead pollution. Water-Anacostia follows the list of the environmental problems that affect the district. Trash, water-Potomac and hazardous waste are also in the list of environmental problems recorded at DC.

The District of Columbia tends to face all these problems because of various different reasons. For example, DC lacks, “District Environmental Agency”, which is supposed to address all environmental functions. Most of the issues that relate to these kind of problems are addressed by, “Department of Consumer and Regulatory affair”. However, there are those environmental issues addressed by the, “Department of Public Works”.

Some kind of progress has been made whereby the District Department of Environment was developed. Unfortunately, the formation of this department has not been enough to deal with the current problems facing the district in relation to environmental matters.  In order to address environmental issues and make sure that citizens are protected accordingly from potential problems, there is a significant need to have separate leadership. This kind of leadership (Environmental Agency) ought to be held accountable for the environmental challenges that may face the city in the future. In order for this leadership to work effectively, it needs a strategic plan that can act as a guide on issues to offer the first priority and how to go about various important aspects.

As noted in the above information, criminals nowadays tend to change the manner and tactics in which they carry out their heinous activities. They tend to take advantage on any loop-hole available. The fact there is a major problem when it comes to environmental protection in DC, this can be a loop-hole that criminals and terrorists can use to attack homeland security.  The political leadership that has been in power for a couple of years in DC has always been addressing issues such as job creation, economic growth, provision of effective communication and fiscal stability among others (Davies & Darnall, 1996). However, this leadership has not been keen to address environmental protection.

Davies & Darnall (1996) indicate that when leaders in DC are asked about problems facing the city, environmental problems do not seem to appear among on their list. If in any case, the leader points out environmental protection as a challenge, it ends-up being at the bottom of the list. This means that leaders in DC fail to employ the necessary mechanisms and efforts when addressing environmental protection issues. This is the point whereby the District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department comes in.

The Metropolitan Police Department has the responsibility of making sure that all citizens in DC are well protected from all kinds of harms especially from criminals and terrorists. This department ought to take the leadership responsibility that is lacking in DC when it comes to deal with environmental problems. The DC police department has been able to reduce the rate of homicide far beyond the national target and hence this is a clear indication that with the appropriate strategic plan, it will assist in promoting environmental protection.

Operational Definitions

Disposal: This term refers to placement of waste materials either by discharging, dumping or spilling among other means. Disposal also tends to refer to the act of placing hazardous waste materials in a matter that they will later be emitted into the air or in other cases; they can be discharged into water sources.

Hazardous waste: This refers to any kind of waste material in relative to its quantity can lead to increase in serious health complications of which may end-up leading to death.

Generation: This is the process of producing waste materials that can be classified as hazardous.

Generator: This is the person or individuals whose actions or daily activities lead to the productions of hazardous materials.

Person responsible: This is the individual or a group that is found capable of enacting activities that contribute to environmental pollution.

Storage: This term means containing waste materials in such a manner that constitutes disposal.

Treatment facility: This refers to a set location where waste materials are treated first before they are disposed or re-cycled.

Arrest: This term means depriving a person his or her liberty with the motive of ensuring that investigations and possible prosecutions are done where the law has been broken.

Police officer: This is an individual who has constitution powers of maintaining law and order.

Significance of the Study In order to ensure that all citizens in the District of Columbia live in a clean and safe environment, there is a need to develop means of employing the relevant protective measures. The fact that there has been poor leadership in relation to environmental protection means that something needs to be done. Therefore, the Metropolitan Police Department in this district ought to take over the leadership and act as environmental agency.

The Police Department can select a group of officers who can deal comprehensively with environmental issues. In order for this to be possible, there is a need to have a strategic plan. The plan is of significant importance because it will assist in explaining what needs to be done and at what period. The plan will also explain all the elements and issues that need to be offered a first priority.

Summary With the emerging threats that tend to affect citizens and the country at large, there is a significant need to cover all the loopholes that criminals and terrorist might take advantage of. There is a need for the authority to ensure that citizens are offered the highest protection possible. Protection should not only be addressed to issues such as natural disasters and organized crimes but also to environmental problems.  Issues that relate to the environment of which tend to cause problems to the residences and even visitors of DC have been not been addressed with the seriousness that they deserve or have been simply ignored.

Therefore, it is the high time that the Metropolitan Police Department ought to promote environmental protection. This strategic plan will provide the necessary information and guidelines needed in order for the police department deal with environmental problems effectively.

CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW Various different cases of environmental damages caused by both criminal and terrorism activities have been recorded in the United States and other parts of the world. These activities call for the attention of authorities to employ the necessary mechanisms and ensure that the country and citizens are offered the necessary protection. With the employment of proper protective mechanism, individuals capable of causing destruction to the environment will continue doing so and this will affect to a higher extent the livelihood of both humans and animals. All persons responsible for causing environmental destruction ought to be arrested and face the full force of the law.

One of the many ways that the environment is destructed is through eco-terrorism. The debate behind the term eco-terrorism is so huge because there are those who advocate for actions carried out by eco-terrorist activists while there are those who totally disagree with this kind of movement.

Eco-terrorists argue that they destroy the environment as a way of trying to gain attention from the authorities and the public so that they can raise concerns about taking care on the wider environmental issues. However, the big question is why engage in environmental destruction in order to gain attention with the aim of informing people about taking care of what is being destroyed. This is kind of irony and that is the main reason why acts of eco-terrorism are always opposed.

Niiler (2000) indicates that in the United States, about more than 100 cases of which are classified as eco-terrorism have been recorded in 1980-1999. Since 1999, more than a decade has passed and there is a high probability that the cases have also increased. These damages cause the country a loss of $ 28.8 million. Apart from this kind of loss, the damages also resulted in loss of precious human lives and caused a huge impact on the natural resources. Therefore, according to, one of the ways that authorities are supposed to offer the highest priority when it comes to environmental protection is dealing with eco-terrorism.

Eco-terrorism refers to the activities enacted by a person or groups of which leads to the destruction of the nation's agriculture. The term also extends to refer to the destruction caused by animal species. Eco-terrorism acts tend to be enacted in various different forms. For example, these acts target destruction of the forestation projects, hydroelectric operations and agricultural developments. Moreover, the acts also contribute to the destruction of recreational use of wilderness and water sources.

These acts of which are classified in many jurisdictions as criminal activities are carried out with the use of equipments such as package bombs, pipe bombs, arson of vegetations and destruction of experimental plants. Use of chemicals that can cause harm to humans and animals in water sources is also another kind of criminal or terrorism activity carried-out with the aim of destroying the environment and those who depend on it. Therefore, according to Niiler (2000), eco-terrorism tend to do more harm than good and acts enacted by these groups ought to be stopped by all means including the use of maximum power by the police.

The other way in which the environment is destructed and calls for authority attention is by failing to comply with the set environmental and health standards. This is mainly experienced by companies and organizations that conduct different types of businesses. Even though it is a certain fraction of businesses that fail to comply with the set laws, their actions cause costly consequences to the environment.

Eagan (1996) states that some of the chemicals used by these companies tend to cause severe and acute health problems. In most cases, these companies are not brought to book because the authorities fear that if they expose them, terrorists may discover their locations and use the chemicals as weaponry of which can be more dangerous. However, even having that in mind, the authorities have the responsibility to ensure that such chemicals are not emitted into the environment.

According to Eagan (1996) many companies and business organizations fail to disclose their all their activities as required by law. For example, companies are supposed to disclose all their procedures and activities they enact so that they develop their final product. Then the government should have a well established mechanism to ensure that all these processes do not produce chemicals that cause harm to the environment.

However, in reality, this does not happen and in many cases, companies just disclose some of the procedures they enact and leaving-out those that are questionable and end-up causing harm to the environment, health and safety of both humans and animals. In order to ensure that companies disclose their activities accordingly, law enforcers ought to step in and take the necessary actions. This is one of the strategies that can be used to ensure that companies do not pose risk or cause harm to the environment.

Destruction of the environment also occurs through various activities that individuals enact on a daily basis. When these activities are not controlled or managed effectively, destruction of the environment occurs. For example, solid waste is generated on a daily basis. However, lack of proper management of this solid waste results to costly damages (Mohareb, MacLean & Kennedy, 2011).

The root cause of solid wastes that causes harm to the environment is companies and business organizations that produce un-recyclable products. However, companies should produce biodegradable products and if they resist doing so, the necessary efforts ought to be put in place and employ the necessary force. When solid wastes accumulate, they cause landfills of which is an environmental hazard.

 Mohareb, MacLean & Kennedy (2011) indicates that it is the role of the authority through police officers and other government agents to force individuals in the society and companies think of the future (Alberini & Frost, 2007).  Damage to the environment through solid waste is always a double tragedy for the country because a lot of money is used to reduce the pollution rate.

The other way in which the environment is destructed and hence needs protection is through dumping of sewage water. This is another activity which is enacted by individuals (domestic sewage) in the society and business entities.

According to Payton (1985), damaging of sewage water has a huge effect on the environment. This is because when the toxic substance enters a body of clean water, they tend to dissolve and they are eventually suspended in the entire water source. The effect of these sewage wastes is that it pollutes the quality of water and risks the lives of humans and aquatic ecosystem. Payton (1985) indicates that sewage waters cause ecological damage, health risks and economic loss.

Therefore, this type of environmental destruction also has costly consequences. Generators of sewage waste ought to ensure that they treat the waste through a treatment facility in order to enhance safety of water bodies. The authority has a responsibility of ensuring that all those who fail to comply with the set health standards of treating sewage waste face the law.

Reflection The main aim of addressing previous researches was to identify some of the issues that have raised concerns with respect to environmental protection. Understanding of these issues is of significant importance because it will help in determining the areas that ought to be given first priority when it comes to environmental protection in the District of Columbia. The information gathered from the previous researches tends to prove that there are many criminal and terrorist activities and those that can be enacted of which calls for maximum authority protection.

Summary With respect to the above literature review, it is clear that much needs to be done in order to enhance and promote environmental protection. Individuals and groups in the society contribute to the destruction of the environment to a higher extent, especially nowadays where industrialization takes place almost all over. There are those who destroy the environment knowingly while they are in the process of making more profits.

Most of the companies are known to pollute air release sewage waters into water bodies of which is against health standards. Individuals also damage the environment by engaging in destructive activities such as cutting of trees and failing to treat domestic sewage waste. In order to ensure that environment is protected accordingly, various measures ought to be put in place and the necessary rules and regulations to be employed. Those found breaking these rules should face the law.

CHAPTER THREE STRATEGIC PLAN Introduction Strategic planning is extremely important for the success of any organization or individual for that matter. It refers to the process of defining the future of the organization and setting out a map on how to reach to that future (Byron, 2011). The map in this case refers to the goals and the objectives that need to be fulfilled along the way in order to reach to that desired future.

According to Byron (2011), strategic planning means thinking and making decisions that have an impact on the entire organization. In essence, strategic planning is a never ending process as it involves focusing on the external forces that affect the organization and thinking about the ways to achieve the best outcomes. It helps the individuals to control the future by being able to forecast changes (Gordon, 2005). Due to the changes that have occurred in the environment in the recent past as far as criminal activities are concerned, it is absolutely necessary for the District of Columbia to have a strategic plan to curb the menace and protect the environment from this unprecedented destruction.

Restatement of the Problem The District of Columbia has experienced the impact of environmental destruction through criminal activities. These criminal activities emanate from the fact that those who facilitate this destruction of the environment disregard the laws that are meant to ensure a safe environment. Water pollution has been one of the leading menaces in the district. This pollution occurs as a result of the activities that the general population carries out.

First and foremost, the release of untreated sewage waste into the water sources constitutes the biggest problem. This sewage waste finds its way into the clean waters that are useful and in turn make them harmful to use. Most industries that process and manufacture products are not left behind when the issues of water pollution are raised. This is because these industries have been implicated with the release of waste chemicals into the water. These chemicals have poisoned the otherwise clean waters leading to  serious effects such as illnesses and even deaths. Some substances released into the water such as lead metal are very toxic and result in deaths whenever they are consumed.

Eco-terrorism has also been a threat in the environment in the District of Columbia. As already mentioned, eco-terrorism refers to the criminal activities that are carried out by the individuals to destroy the environment with an aim of attracting the attention of the authority. These activities include cutting down of trees illegally, releasing toxic gases into the air thus causing air pollution and even polluting the water by releasing wastes into their sources. Release of biological and radiological hazardous substances in the environment pose the greatest threat to the well-being of the people. Some of these compounds result to life-threatening complications.

In the District of Columbia, there has been little effort to control the problems associated with the environmental damage. This is because of several reasons. First and foremost, there is no special agency that has been assigned this duty. Essentially, there should be a “District Environmental Agency” that should specifically handle environmental issues.

Currently, the environmental issues are handled by the “Department of Consumer and Regulatory affair”. In addition, the “Department of Public Works” addresses some of the issues. However, considering that the environmental issues require much attention presently unlike in the past, these two departments cannot fully address them. Besides, they address these environmental issues secondary to their main functions.

This means that they touch on environmental issues that directly influence their line of work. Moreover, the political leaders in the District of Columbia have not been giving the issues that affect the environment the necessary attention. In their debates, they have been concentrating on many other issues such as the creation of employment (Davies & Darnall, 1996).

Davies & Darnall (1996) indicate that when leaders in the District of Columbia are asked about problems facing the city, environmental problems are not mentioned, and if they are mentioned, they are not given much attention. They are given the lowest priority.

With these considerations in mind, it is therefore clear that environmental issues require a fresh look. To begin with, the alluded agency should be created to solve environmental issues as its principle role. This is because there is little being done to counter the possibility that the environment could become the target in order to harm people. For this reason, the District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department has come to help avert any potential criminal and terrorist activity that may arise by taking advantage of the environment by the criminals.

The Metropolitan Police Department has the responsibility of making sure that all citizens in the District of Columbia are well protected from all kinds of harms especially from criminals and terrorists. This department ought to take the leadership responsibility that is lacking in the District of Columbia when it comes to dealing with the environmental problems.

In order to address environmental issues and make sure that citizens are protected accordingly from potential problems, there is a significant need to have separate leadership. This kind of leadership (Environmental Agency) ought to be held accountable for the environmental challenges that may face the city in the future. In order for this leadership to work effectively, it needs a strategic plan. This strategic plan will guide the agency in its operations. It will be possible to underpin the areas that require immediate attention. In addition, it will assist in the overall achievement of the much anticipated protection of the environment and the associated calamity.

Mission Statement The mission of the District Environmental Agency is “to promote the protection and  restoration of the environment, to conserve the natural resources, and to formulate relevant policies, plans and services to improve the quality of life in the District of Colombia”.

Vision Statement The vision statement is “to make the District a model in the matters that relate to the environmental protection and carrying out practices that ensure sustainability of the environment in partnership with other District Agencies”.

Strategic Plan Description In order to promote this strategic plan, all the key stakeholders must be informed and involved. These include the relevant officials and the general public. The officers in the Metropolitan Police Department need to be informed about it in order to assist in its implementation. It is this department that will help in promoting widespread understanding of the plan by the general public.

Most active individuals in each group of stakeholders will be identified and selected to represent their respective groups. Through hem, the plan will be communicated to these respective groups. The method of implementing the plan and the expected outcome will be communicated by the assistance of the chosen facilitators. The public support will be sought because it is through the contribution of every individual that the anticipated outcome of the plan will be realized.

The mission of the District Environmental Agency is “to promote the protection and  restoration of the environment, to conserve the natural resources, and to formulate relevant policies, plans and services to improve the quality of life in the District of Colombia”. In view of this mission statement, the strategic plan derives its roots from the fact that the anticipated outcome is the protection of the environment and conservation of the natural resources. In this way, the environment will be safe and therefore free from any harm.

The policies that need to be formulated should be in line with the goal of ensuring that the natural resources are used sustainably and that illegal use should be discouraged. The vision statement is “to make the District a model in the matters that relate to the environmental protection and carrying out practices that ensure sustainability of the environment in partnership with other District Agencies”. The vision statement gives the backdrop against which the strategic plan will be implemented. This is because it gives the ultimate goal of the Agency which is to make the region the best in matters of environmental protection.

There are several aspects of this strategic plan. First and foremost, relevant and appropriate policies will need to be formulated by the agency. These policies will guide both the officials on how to handle environmental problems and the general public on how to monitor and prevent environmental destruction.

For instance, the following policy statement will be formulated to protect water pollution. The members of the public will be required to refrain from disposing waste materials near or in the sources of water. These waste materials will include empty plastic and metallic tins, plastic bags, human fecal matter and any other substance that may render water harmful to the health of the people.

Failure to adhere to this rule will lead to arrest of the individual and charged with a criminal offense. In addition, each person will be required to monitor any case of water pollution by other people and report to the relevant authority. This includes the industries that are notorious at disposing harmful chemicals into the water sources. Such a policy will be very relevant to the protection of water sources from pollution.

The other strategic plan will involve identifying possible attacks by terrorists who target environment to cause harm to the people.

The District Environmental Agency will be required to come up with a policy that will discourage potential eco-terrorism. For instance, officers will be recruited and sent to the hot spots where they will be required to keep guard. In addition, hefty penalties will be put in place upon those who are caught planning or carrying out an activity that is deemed a potential threat to the environment.

Moreover, members of the general public will need to be empowered to be able to be vigilant in the issues that may affect the environment. For instance, people who identify and report a potential criminal activity that could harm the environment would be rewarded. Also, people in the community could be selected and given responsibilities to monitor any potential eco-terrorist activity. These people would then be remunerated accordingly.

Another strategy is to involve the political leaders in the matters that concern environmental issues. This is because political leadership in the District of Columbia is very influential. If these leaders are made to talk about problems facing the environment in the District, there is likelihood that many of these problems will be solved. It has been observed that the general public tends to take matters that are handled in a political dimension more seriously that if the same matters are conveyed by other means. Therefore, it is important to put this knowledge into consideration on the part of the Agency.

There are several ways through which politicians can be involved. One of them is by sending a representative to the relevant political officials. Then the representative explains the concerns and the problems that affect the environment in great details with these political officials. After this undertaking, it would be essential for the Agency to keep in touch with these political offices constantly. This would make the political officials realize the magnitude of the matter and therefore give it the required attention. That way, the politicians would begin talking about these issues and debating on them. Out of their debates, appropriate solutions to these environmental problems would be realized.

The other thing that needs to be done in order to ensure success of this plan is to make it known to the public. There are various ways through which the public could be engaged in the implementation of this plan.

One of the ways is holding discussions over the radios. In these discussions the general public would be required and encouraged to participate through calling over the phones. They will be allowed to ask questions and even make comments concerning the progress of the plan. In addition, their views and their suggestions will be taken into considerations if they are found to be relevant and aimed at facilitating the achievement of the main agenda. The same discussions will be held in televisions.

Also, an interactive website will be created where the members of the public can read about the progress and the achievements in the strategic plan. Meanwhile, they will be free to write either to ask questions, to comment or even to criticize the steps being taken by the agency.

Through such interactions with the members of the general public, two important things will be achieved. First, it will be clear that the members of the public are aware of the strategic plan. Secondly, it will be clear that members of the public are following on what is being done.

Funding for the achievement of this pan will also be an important consideration. So far, the government has been the sole source of the financial support that is needed to run the Agency. However, as the operations become technical and therefore requiring more funding, it will be necessary to ask for aids from non-governmental agencies. For instance, it will require donors to help hold activities such as radio and television programs and run an interactive website. In addition, sometimes public rallies will be conducted to promote public awareness.

Also, camps and training sessions may be employed along the way to help educate members of the public on the importance of supporting such a plan. All these activities will require funding. Where funds are not available, the Agency will find alternative ways such as relying on volunteers as necessary.

Schedule for Performance Assessment To keep track of the progress of plan, it will be necessary to assess it. A team will be selected whose main function is to assess the performance of the plan. The team will be required to submit monthly reports to the head office in the Environmental Department. For this reason, it will be necessary for the team members to have weekly meetings in order to review the status of the implementation of the plan. One way of reviewing will be reading through the comments posted by the members of the public on the interactive website and summarizing the discussions held over the radio stations and television stations.

Summary The strategic plan presented here will make the District Environmental Agency of the District of Columbia the best Agency in handling matters that regard environmental protection. By fully involving the members of the public, it will be possible to monitor any potential activity that could be aimed at destroying the environment. We have also said that the members of the public should be made aware that they have the responsibility to take care of the environment. The Agency will also have to employ officers whose function is to patrol all the hotspot of eco-terrorism.

This way, eco-terrorism will be put to an end. In addition, some members of the public will be selected and be involved in the safeguarding of the environment. These people will be rewarded or remunerated accordingly. Moreover, environmental issues will reach the political platform through the use of relevant political offices. This way, environmental problems will get the attention that they deserve in the political arena. Members of the public will be actively involved in the activities of the Agency as far as performance of the strategic plan is concerned. They will be involved through discussions over the radios, televisions and interactive website that will be created by the Agency officials.

CHAPTER FOUR CONCLUSION If this strategic plan is executed as required, there will be an immense success in the achievement of the Agency’s mission and vision. It offers great opportunities that, if put in place, the overall results will be satisfying. Members of the public will be made aware that they have a role to play in protecting the environment. In addition, they will be given an opportunity to comment and criticize the moves of the Agency.

This way, the Agency officials will know what to change and how to change in order to achieve the desired goals in time. Political leaders will be involved in these matters. It is anticipated that if environmental issues receive political support, they will be addressed with great success. This is because if such matters are debated by the politicians, the solutions that are realized will be supported by the government.

We have seen that to achieve the success as set out in this strategic plan, funding will be critical. Though the government is responsible for the entire District Environmental Agency, its funding will most likely be limited to the payment of the salaries of the employed officials. To carry out further activities that are absolutely necessary in order to realize the successful implementation of this plan, further funding will be required. Non-governmental organizations will be asked to assist where possible. In addition, volunteering will be part of the strategy where funds are not available.

RECOMMENDATIONS For this plan to move forward, the Department of Environmental Agency will have to seek support from the Department of the Public Works. This is because the Agency will be a new department that will require to be initiated into the public operations. Furthermore, to implement this plan, members of the public will need to be fully involved. The selected team to promote public awareness will need to hold as many public forums as possible. Collaboration with the media will be necessary in order to hold the necessary discussions.

Political support will be absolutely necessary. Therefore, it will require collaboration with the relevant politicians to make this happen. Seeking support from the non-governmental organizations will be necessary as well. The Agency will be required to sell its agenda out to these organizations so that it can win their confidence and get the financial support it will need in the implementation of this plan.

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