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What are the roles of a liaison officer?

What are the roles of a liaison officer?

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It seems that you are referring to the concept of a liaison officer within the context of incident response. In this situation, the liaison officer is responsible for coordinating multi-agency responses to some type of incident. The need for this kind of role is pretty straightforward. In the event of a serious incident, a lot of different resources and agencies can be brought to bear, and that will require coordination.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the liaison officer specifically:

  • Acts as a contact point for all agency personnel
  • Keeps lists of the agencies and personnel representing the agencies
  • Facilitates meetings and cooperation among agencies
  • Identifies problems in inter-agency communications
  • Keeps the "Grand Pooh-Bahs" in Washington up to speed
  • Fills out lots of forms
  • Does a post-mortem when an incident is wrapped up

Not brain surgery, but clearly necessary to ensure that all activities are coordinated and effective during an emergency situation.

More information:

This was first published in January 2008

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