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Assessing sheriff’s office emergency and disaster website communications
Criminal Justice Studies
  • Philip M Stinson, Bowling Green State University
  • John Liederbach, Bowling Green State University
  • L. Fleming Fallon, Bowling Green State University
  • Hans Schmalzried, Bowling Green State University
Document Type

Sheriff’s offices are an integral component of the public health emergency preparedness and response system in the United States. During a public health emergency or disaster, sheriff’s offices need to communicate with people affected by the event. Sheriff’s office websites are logical sources for information about disaster preparedness and response efforts. No prior research evaluates emergency preparedness and response resources available through sheriff’s office websites. The current research is a national study of sheriff’s office websites to assess the availability of information relating to emergency preparedness and response. A content analysis of 2,590 sheriff’s office website homepages was conducted to determine the presence or absence of nine communications elements important to people seeking information during an emergency or disaster. We found that 71.9% of sheriff’s office website homepages include links to agency services and programs, but only 6.5% provide links to emergency preparedness information. The findings of the study are useful to assess emergency preparedness and the amount of response information available as well as to identify opportunities to improve sheriff’s office website homepages.

Publisher's Statement
This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Criminal Justice Studies, 2014 [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at:
Publication Date
Citation Information
Philip M Stinson, John Liederbach, L. Fleming Fallon and Hans Schmalzried. "Assessing sheriff’s office emergency and disaster website communications" Criminal Justice Studies (2014) p. 4 - 19
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