Research Paper: Norfolk Virginia Is a Medium

Pages: 8 (2365 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Terrorism  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Norfolk Virginia has long since had a special operations team to assist patrol officers with special circumstances that may have arisen, for instance, hostage situations, bank robberies, and other such criminal activities. But because of the threats posed by terrorism "the Special Operations Team has received specialized training in Weapons of Mass Destruction and anti-terrorism response, CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive), and HAZMAT operations." ("Homeland Security Division") In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the responsibility for categorize the city's infrastructure assets and providing these assets with the information to aid in the event of a terrorist attack. Potential assets include government buildings like schools, power generating stations, public utilities, shipyards, and a variety of public venues. In addition, the team is also responsible for providing security for LPG tanker ships, observation and reaction teams for public events, and as part of its training in the Incident Command System, "partnered with various state, local, and federal agencies in order to prepare for and effectively manage large incidents." ("Homeland Security Division") The ICS is a system that if correctly implemented can aid in more effectively facing an emergency situation like a terrorist attack.

Since bombs have long been a favorite weapon of the terrorist, the Norfolk Police Department's Bomb Squad has a mission of providing a rapid response to incidents involving suspected explosives. It accomplishes this mission by cooperating and providing resources to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In addition, the Norfolk Bomb Squad also cooperates with other local agencies, as well as, the Virginia State Police Bomb Squad, the FBI, ATF, and other agencies "in preparing for events involving explosives an improvised explosive devices." ("Homeland Security Division")

This type of cooperation between agencies is important because as the events of 9/11 unfolded and a variety of agencies were called upon to act, there was a serious breakdown in interagency cooperation. Many agencies responded but the "lack of overall knowledge and acceptance of the ICS (Incident Command System) among law enforcement," seriously inhibited the ability for these difference agencies to cooperate. ("ARCO Conference Report," p. 20) One of the lessons learned from the tragic events of September 11 is that there must be better communication between the various agencies that could be called upon to respond in a terrorist event. The cooperation between the Norfolk Bomb Squad, or other Norfolk Police squads, is an excellent example of how the lessons of 9/11 have been implemented by local law enforcement agencies like the Norfolk Police Department.

In the 21st century, social media has become an important area that law enforcement officials have begun using for the planning and managing of emergencies like terrorist attacks. Norfolk Virginia has gotten on board with this new type of communication tool, but there have been some problems. In a recent simulation undertaken by the Federal Emergency Management Administration fund serious problems in the way government officials used social media. For instance, there were "no formal or standard operating procedures on how to use or disseminate social media messages in a disaster." ("NLE-11 AAR," p. 46) In response to such problems, the Norfolk Virginia Police Department has began incorporating social media into its everyday procedures in an attempt to better prepare for their use during emergency situations.

September 11, 2001 changed the way that American view their security and what they expect from their local law enforcement agencies. With the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, the city of Norfolk Virginia has put into practice a number of new policies and procedures which aim to prevent and, if necessary, respond to a terrorist attack. The primary change has been in the way local law enforcement views the potential threat posed by terrorists and the procedures for detection, deterrence, interagency cooperation, and response. But the city of Norfolk Virginia has not been alone in their endeavors, both the state and federal governments have become intricately involved in providing the Norfolk Police Department with ongoing training, resources, information, but most importantly cooperation. As a result of this new approach, Norfolk currently has lice officers involved in harbor security with the Coast Guard, as well as special operations units training and working with many other local state and federal agencies.

References

"2009 Virginia Terrorism Threat Assessment." (March 2009). Virginia Fusion Center.

Commonwealth of Virginia Department of State Police. Retrieved from http://rawstory.com/images/other/vafusioncenterterrorassessment.pdf

"9/11 Commission Report." (2004). The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks

Upon the United States. Retrieved from http://www.9-

11 commission.gov/report/index.htm

"Arlington County (ARCO) Conference Report: Local Response to Terrorism" Arlington

County Homepage. Retrieved from https://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/EmergencyManagement/pdf/ARCO_

Conf_Report.pdf

"Evaluate and Improve" FEMA: National Incident Management System.

Retrieved from http://www.fema.gov/evaluate-improve

"Homeland Security Division" Norfolk Virginia Police Department. Retrieved from http://www.norfolk.gov/police/homeland_security.asp

Learning from 9/11. (2009). Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, National

Institute of Justice. Print.

"National Level Exercise 2011 After Action Report (NLE-11 AAR)" (28 Oct. 2011).

FEMA. Retrieved from http://info.publicintelligence.net/FEMA-NLE2011-

AAR.pdf

Sacco, Katiuscia, Valentino Galletto, and Enrico Blanzieri. (2003). How Has the 9/11

Terrorist Attack Influenced Decision Making? Applied Cognitive Psychology, 17,

1113-1127. Retrieved from www.interscience.wiley.com

Silver, Roxane Cohen. (2004). Conducting Research After the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks:

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