Dallas County Homeland Security: Methodology

Research Question

The first research question that should be answered within the framework of the current study is the reason why the shooting occurred in Dallas in 2016. The second research question relates to the identification of the gaps in the approaches to homeland security in Dallas County. The third research question is intended to investigate the changes that were made to the safety policies on both regional and national levels.

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The importance of the topic can be explained by the fact that such accidents reflect the issues inherent in the current safety policies (Kapucu & Garayev, 2011). The tragedy that occurred in Dallas is an anomalous event, and this problem should be addressed in order to eliminate the possibility of occurrence of such events in the future. The proposed research questions are in line with the hypotheses of the current research project and can be answered by means of applying a qualitative approach.

Research Approach

Within the framework of the current research, the qualitative research approach will be used. The research applies this approach due to the fact that it will help to emphasize the constructed arrangement of reality (Wukich & Mergel, 2015).

This research approach was chosen because of its flexibility and positive variance of the end results. The researcher will focus on the paradigm of social constructivism. The chosen sampling method is called purposive sampling. The researcher uses this method because it relies on time and the availability of other critical resources. The key advantage of the purposive sampling is that it will consider the data that fits certain criteria. In this case, the chosen investigative approach presupposes that the researcher will explore the behavior of the shooter and analyze the events that occurred in order to attempt to translate the previous experience into rich conclusions concerning the safety policies and homeland security in general (DeLeo, 2015).

The application of qualitative approach will help the researcher to investigate the premises of Dallas shooting and explore the opposing beliefs concerning the tragic event. Within the framework of the current research, the investigator plans to gain more insight into the experiences of the people who were involved in the accident and the executives/ law enforcement officers who were in charge of warranting the security of the location (Kapucu & Garayev, 2011).

The researcher expects to perform data collection and analysis relatively simultaneously so this research design fits the current research project perfectly. On a bigger scale, the researcher is keen on finding patterns in the obtained data which will help to generalize the findings. The latter will be useful in terms of making specific conclusions regarding safety policies because these verdicts will be based on the opinions of the partakers of the research. The application of qualitative approach will be used to generalize the obtained data, but the researcher does not exclude the importance of applying deductive reasoning (Alperen, 2017).

The qualitative approach does not presuppose that any pre-set hypotheses shall be developed. Instead, the research will revolve around the problem of Dallas shooting and concentrate on the issues of homeland security.

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Research Design

The design of the current qualitative research will be focused on the experiences and outlooks of those who were in any way connected with the incident in Dallas. The researcher aims to describe the shooting and how it affected the subjects (Wukich & Mergel, 2015). In order to do it, the investigator will conduct a series of interviews with the law enforcement officers, government executives, and Dallas County residents.

The major goal of these interviews will be to identify the similarities and dissimilarities in the outlooks of these three groups on the incident and how they think the occurrence rate of such events can be minimized across Dallas County. The researcher is interested in conducting the interviews on two separate levels (meaning and factual) in order to fully comply with the directives of conventional qualitative research (Barton & Johns, 2013).

Nonetheless, to obtain the data on the meaning level will be a rather complex task. As it has been mentioned earlier, the interviews will be used to collect the data regarding the experience of the three separate groups of people. This shall be done with the intention of gathering in-depth data connected to the incident. The researcher also believes that these interviews can be supported by additional questionnaires but this feature is optional. The personal nature of this research type may impose several limitations on the study. The current research design presupposes that the investigator will directly communicate with the interviewees in a personalized manner (Badiru & Racz, 2013).

Similarly to the researcher, the partakers of the study will have the possibility to ask additional questions or make specific inquiries regarding the topic of research. Even considering the fact that interviews are easy to conduct, the researcher realizes that this research design is a rather time- and resource-consuming procedure. Within the framework of the current research project, the interviewer will serve as a means of measuring the obtained data (DeLeo, 2015). It is important to carefully assess all the contingencies that may transpire throughout the research process.


The researcher will conduct interviews within a setting that is intended not to distract the interviewees (Wukich & Mergel, 2015). One of the key responsibilities of the researcher is to clearly communicate the purpose of the interview which is the identification of possible improvements that could be made to the existing safety policies that are applied on the territory of Dallas County. The strategy chosen by the researcher presupposes that the whole experiment will be confidential (Alperen, 2017).

The investigator is also in charge of explaining the core principles of interviews and guarantee that there will be no problems during and after the interviews. It is also crucial to indicate the duration of the interviews clearly so as not to confuse the interviewees. The researcher will provide their contact information for the feedback or any additional commentaries (Alperen, 2017). The strategy presupposes that the interviewees shall be aware of the ultimate goals of the interviews and not to have any doubts concerning the methodology or their personal data (Badiru & Racz, 2013).

The data will be collected by means of taking notes while interviewing the subjects. The strategy of the researcher will also include the ways to evade research bias when it comes to processing the results. Moreover, the researcher should take into account the bias which may transpire during the interview. Research bias may crucially affect the outcomes of the research project and lead to incorrect conclusions concerning the homeland security and the policies that should be reviewed by Dallas County representatives (Kapucu & Garayev, 2011). The researcher will discuss several general points with the respondents before investigating the shooting incident of 2016.

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These general questions should be combined with specific questions regarding the efficiency of the current policy and what can be done to improve security. The last questions should be concentrated on the future of the problem and the ways to evade it (Kapucu & Garayev, 2011). At the end of the interviews, the partakers will have the possibility to add any details they consider important within the framework of this research.

Type of Data

Throughout the interviews, the researcher will obtain an array of qualitative data related to the policy-making process in Dallas County and the efficiency of the existing homeland security strategies. On a bigger scale, this data will reflect the opinions and suppositions of the tree key groups that usually affect policy making in certain ways. The researcher expects to focus on the qualitative data presenting the evidence concerning the behaviors of the policemen and the correctness of Micah Johnson’s actions.

The obtained data will be supportive in terms of identifying the patterns that are present in the viewpoints of all three groups. All the data that is collected will help the researcher to align the research hypotheses with the findings of the study. On a bigger scale, the obtained data (if generalized appropriately) can serve as a potential list of improvements that should be made to the current Dallas County homeland security policies.

The researcher believes that the study will successfully explore the behavior of the shooter and the gaps in the existing safety policies. Moreover, the researcher expects that the obtained data will successfully help them to answer the research questions and draw reasonable conclusions regarding the approach of Dallas County executives to security issues.


Alperen, M. (2017). Foundations of homeland security: Law and policy. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Badiru, A., & Racz, L. (2013). Handbook of emergency response: A human factors and systems engineering approach. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Barton, A., & Johns, N. (2013). The policy-making process in the criminal justice system. New York, NY: Routledge.

DeLeo, R. (2015). Anticipatory policy-making: When government acts to prevent problems and why it is so difficult. New York, NY: Routledge.

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Kapucu, N., & Garayev, V. (2011). Collaborative decision-making in emergency and disaster management. International Journal of Public Administration, 64(1), 366-375.

Wukich, C., & Mergel, I. (2015). Closing the citizen-government communication gap: Content, audience, and network analysis of government tweets. Homeland Security & Emergency Management, 12(3), 707-735.

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