Hello y’all, today we are discussing how police can come up with and implement strategy to combat terror organizations in the United States. First off, I have to state I do not know how it is possible to expect street police to be peace keepers and enforce laws, write mountains of redundant paperwork, deal with the courts and their department administration, in addition to the many other non-criminal duties placed on them (i.e. deal with mental patients and motor vehicle crashes etc., then expect them to become a counter terror agent? One answer is to create a specialized unit of police that deal with terror and interface with the federal authorities. But this has it problems, police departments are understaffed, many big city departments have criminal intelligence units, bureau of investigations detectives, digital forensics squad, and a swat team but those units are back logged investigating crimes and the pursuing the criminals for prosecution; big city departments do not have many officers to spare for a terror squad, so how could most small town police or sheriff’s office spare an officer to full time counter terror duties? There are fusion centers and they share information on criminals and terrorists but the information rarely gets to the patrolman, and if it did most wouldn’t know what to do with it because it doesn’t apply to their world of domestics, disturbances, mental patients, burglar alarms, thieves, armed robbers, murders or rapists. It is unfortunate that those special units and federals do not share more information due to operational security. Ironically, the first on scene of a terror attack are not the high-speed officers or agents, but patrol officers who will have to handle the incident. This is one of the reasons why advanced equipment like armored vehicles with thermals, heavy duty body armor and semi-automatic rifles are in use, the days of the 6-shooter revolver are long gone. Police are also limited as to what kind of investigations can be done where has federal agents can apply for FISA and use the PATRIOT ACT, Criminal police in America cannot. They are the investigative and enforcement arm of the jurisdiction they are employed by. Certain procedural requirements are needed to create a legal investigation and prosecution. Over the years laws and court rulings have established a complex set of rules police have to follow. International terrorists do not follow any rules and often cross borders and jurisdictions with ease rendering local and state police unable to pursue. That is why joint federal/police task forces, DHS, and fusion centers were created, they all serve to pursue mobile criminals and now terrorists. The main issue is funding for those programs, if there is no money to pay for manpower, snitches, equipment, and advanced training, then it just will not happen. There is one incident that local police are a good source of intelligence. That is in dealing with domestic terrorists, those home-grown radicals and anarchists that are known in their communities has extremists and a threat to the country. That information sent to the fusion center can help investigators build cases relating to terror and criminal charges. According to the readings state “Terrorists, like other criminals, are most vulnerable to apprehension while they are in transit.” (Riebling, 2006). Traffic enforcement is another valuable tool local police have which can assist agents and detectives in conducting investigations and making arrests.
I think what would greatly improve terror response are mutual aid agreements and cross training with those agencies and departments. Secondly, reassign non-emergency and non-criminal complaints to another department. Increase officers base pay and provide advanced training and equipment to all street police.
Reibling, M. (2006, January). HARD WON LESSONS: THE NEW PARADIGM—MERGING LAW ENFORCEMENT AND COUNTERTERRORISM STRATEGIES. Retrieved from https://media4.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/scr_04.pdf
Lee, J. (2010). Policing After 9/11: Community Policing in an Age of Homeland Security. Retrieved from https://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy1.apus.edu/doi/pdf/10.1177/1098611110384083
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