Joint Action Terror (JA TERROR) and Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association (GLEPHA) invite you to a workshop afternoon to discuss ‘the role of law enforcement in health security’. JA TERROR is a European Union project based on 17 member countries and 31 partner organisations. The focus is to address gaps in health preparedness and to strengthen response to biological and chemical terror attacks by cross-sectoral work with security, civil protection and health sectors. GLEPHA is a membership-based association working towards bringing the law enforcement and public health sectors together. GLEPHA is also the founder of LEPH conference.
The relationship between public health and law enforcement is contested. Some argue that this is an important and synergistic relationship and point to successful close collaborations in areas such as drugs policing, and mental health. Others are less certain, with some voices arguing that law enforcement can be a barrier to achieving public health goals for example, concern over racially biased policing, and use of excessive force. This debate extends to health security, where it is not clear what, if any, role law enforcement has. Internationally, there is substantial variation in practice, in some jurisdictions law enforcement is a critical partner in health security preparedness and response, whereas in others they have no role at all.
The aim of this joint meeting is to explore if and to what extent law enforcement can be usefully involved in health security issues, what specific areas they might contribute to, and how best this could be achieved.