Local Police and Terrorism Response Research Paper

Pages: 9 (3075 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Terrorism

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] This is so because of the political class and public exert a rather clear cut directive in these matters. When, however the scope of work expands into concerns of national threat (terrorism and other intrusive activities) beyond local issues, the local police could be found wanting in their capabilities as the training regarding missing political acumen would largely be felt. The requisite training for combating such incidences is dourly felt.

Preventing and Responding to Terrorism

In this paper the inter-play between the response of the locals to terror incidences and the laws that were promulgated in its wake are being explored in the light of the work done by the Saint Leo University on the core values of Community.

Mutual Aid/Collaboration with Law Enforcement Partners

The Commission of 9/11 appreciates the value of unification of purpose of all executive functionaries in the ambit of the local, state and federal agencies. It has chosen to make a model out of the 66 JTTF's (Joint Terrorism Task Forces) collaboration to be emulated. The local and state police machinery is working with a totally new perspective with the federal law agencies as a result, it is seen. They are also being increasingly pro-active in involving other federal agencies, hitherto an unknown phenomenon.

State, Local and Private Sector Relationship

The local police requisitions to the state counterparts has increased manifold in the aftermath of the 9/11. The requests mainly center on the training and assistance they seek for high-tech crimes related to the internet and computer domains. The requests also pertain to advanced weaponry, rapid response methodology, bomb squads, air surveillance and marine exercises in addition to updated forensic crime laboratories. With the private sector owning more than eighty five percent of the infrastructure required there has inevitably, now been an excess of sixty percent of the state agencies interacting with them for background checks of their personnel and facilities' security.

Interactions and Relations with Federal Agencies

The resources of the local and the state law enforcing agencies has had a telling effect since 9/11 as more and more of their personnel are being asked to participate in the activities of the FBI led JTTF. They are also being involved increasingly in the immigration issues and investigations. Enforcement similarly has become a source for depleting their already meager resources. To compound the problems, the federal help in investigations of local importance has decreased significantly. Problems like trafficking and financial crimes too have to be attended to by the state and local policing machinery on their own as a result.

It is generally the larger local agencies (about 87%) who interact with the federal agencies like the FBI, CDC, ODP or the Coast Guard. The smaller agencies' percentage of involvement with the federal agencies is hardly 28%.

Training

The entire hierarchy (right from the top brass to the patrolman on the beat) of the police machinery needs to be trained along the new requirements that arose since the devastating 9/11 attack. The response that they now must provide cannot be expected of them based on the training that they possessed prior to the terror act. The new area in which training is now sought is to equip the personnel to anticipate attacks, to be able to point out potential perpetrators and intelligence sourcing and processing. The ground reality is however, that the trainees rarely get to meet the whole range of training facilities and adequate logistical support. However, in-house training can now be arranged by availing the huge matter that has been assembled for ready reckoning. This critical task of training can be addressed by the formation of specific training modules and facilities with membership features that are separated from the departments.

Soon after the 9/11 incident, in December a training program addressing the critical issues of anticipating potential terrorists, the location that was most likely or vulnerable and sharing and processing vital intelligence was designed for equipping the personnel with the help of experts who had hands-on experience of such issues.

Delivering Timely Information to the Community

Local police department should use technology to pass valid and consistent messages regarding impending terrorist threats to the Community. The co-ordination with the community becomes important from the police point-of-view to lessen the impact of the act by evacuation and other precautionary measures. Even after the act has been carried out vital information to the public regarding safety and further possibilities need to be relayed. Use of local announcement systems to notify people about all procedures, threats and evacuation is being tried by certain agencies. This method has been alternately christened "reverse 911," aptly so, as a means of reversal of direction of communication. It was suddenly becoming more important to reach announcements and emerging situations to the public as much as listening to their queries and trials and tribulations was. Alternatively, systems like 311 and latest advances in technology and communications specially should be made full use of for passing vital information to the community at large.

It so happened that the timing of the launch of the 311 system and the terrorist attacks that took place on the pentagon, the world trade center and the air crash at Pennsylvania coincided. And the anthrax scare followed soon after. This new system brought in by the Austin Police Department was so effective that it cocked more hits than the 911 system. 311 proved to be miracle in the form that was not even envisaged. The need to pass information was till then, not felt so acutely. It was because of the 311 that 911 was saved from being clogged and n the process many people in actual life and death situation could be given help and directions for safety (Harris, 2001).

How the Police department has adapted to the Terrorism threat

Appointment of anti-terrorism unit and liaisoning officers

Officers designated to reassure security of critical facilities and the airports as well as ports.

Reorientation in officers' skills by training for WMD response and anticipation of terror acts

Rapid boats carrying security personnel for surveillance of ports

Densely populated areas were reassigned higher priority for policing

Strategic shift of two-police cars to one police one car for increased visibility that also improved response time

The emphasis on D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) the lesser priority areas were trimmed to free personnel for more serious threats

Narcotics division saw increased trimming by way of lesser foot patrolling. There was also the pressing need both from the local bodies as well as the federal government to meet further increase in demand (Raymond, Barbara et al., 2005).

As a community the local response lies in providing assistance to the personnel of the police as and when required to help him carry out his tasks better. It would greatly help if as a societal unit we show trust and respect each other's beliefs and rise above man-made divisions to help our brethren lessening the tremendous burden that the administration is already under. These are some of the core values imbibed in those seeking education in Saint Leo University, Florida. The qualities that would go to make a man of steel and act as a beacon of hope in times of crisis should exhibit stewardship in words as in deeds and keep his integrity towards social responsibilities intact. A healthy citizen is more needed, than ever before in the times that we are living, than the extra policing and strain on governmental resources.

Conclusion

It is a universal truth that most of the regions and people will be untouched by the acts of terrorism. However, given the unpredictability, it is advisable to be in readiness of such an eventuality. The COPS treatise is a basis on which police can formulate their tactics to pre-empt terrorist attacks. Each community is unique in its needs and mannerisms and the police would do well to position themselves in accordance with an aligned perspective that is in agreement with the community the COPS document, though not comprehensive is a good assortment of cases that underlines the diverse strategies that may be needed to be adopted.

Bibliography

Chapman, R., Baker, S., Bezdikian, V., Cammarata, P., Cohen, D., Ph.D., Leach, N., Schaprio, A., Scheider, M., Varano, R., Boba, R. (2002). Local Law Enforcement Responds to Terrorism Lessons in Prevention and Preparednes. The Police Foundation, Washington D.C.

Ed. Harris, (2001). (Director of emergency communications, Austin Police Department).Telephone Interview.

Flynn, Edward, (2001). (Chief of Police, Arlington County Police Dept.)Letter.Washington Post.

Gene Voegtlin and Jennifer Boyter. Legislative Alert -- State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Programs Face Cuts. International Association of Chiefs of Police. Retrieved on 23rd September, 2014 from http://policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=233&issue_id=32004

John D. Brewer et al. (1996). The Police, Public Order And The State 115 (2d Ed).

National Study, (2005). The Council of State Governments and Eastern Kentucky University, National Study -- The Impact of Terrorism on State Law Enforcement, 2004 (Through support from… [END OF PREVIEW]

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