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The role of the local police in preventing and responding to the threat of terrorism - Term Paper Example

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The Role of the Local Police in Responding to Terrorism (Name) (University) The Role of the Local Police in Responding to the Threat of Terrorism Introduction In September 11, 2001, the United States was struck by what is now considered as the most deadly and destructive attack launched by terrorists in its own backyard…
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The role of the local police in preventing and responding to the threat of terrorism
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Download file to see previous pages This situation has naturally resulted in the need for the local police to play an important role in the prevention of terrorist acts as well as the apprehension of perpetrators who may belong to any terror group, whether domestic or international in origin. At the moment, there may still be a need for the local police to fully appreciate this role in homeland counter-terrorism and develop strategies and tactics that would give a concrete expression of it. It is clear that the usually more equipped and trained defense machineries of the government are already occupied with the offensive side of the war on terrorism. In line with the theory of pre-emptive warfare, a great part of the U.S. military’s might have been stationed outside of the homeland, particularly in regions of the world where the concentration of foreign terrorist organizations is heavy. The orientation of the different branches of the armed forces is towards forward deployment. Under this circumstance, the question about who is going to watch the rear demands an urgent answer. It is clear that the federal law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and even the respective state’s national guards may not be enough because of their inadequate number and concentration. The local police forces, on the other hand, have two advantages in this regard. Although they are not concentrated, they have a bigger number of personnel that could be mobilized for counter-terrorism. Secondly, they are more dispersed with distinct smaller areas of jurisdiction, making it possible for them to monitor dubious and illegal movements more convenient and effective. It is in these contexts that the potential of the local police forces in anti-terrorism are appreciated. I. The Limitations of the Local Police Force With the lethal attacks launched in 9/11 and the possibility of more similar strikes in American soil, convincing key leaders of the local police regarding the need to take a proactive stance against terrorism is not difficult. It is a fact that after 9/11, the top officers of the New York Police Department, as well as that of the other major urban centers in the country, have acknowledged to reorient their personnel and to include counter-terrorism as part of their roles and responsibilities. However, there is also the reality that the local police simply does not have the training and the equipment which could be utilized for the purpose of determining potential threats, investigating possible suspects, and apprehending them before the terrorist action is committed and, thereby prevent the loss of lives and the damage to properties. More importantly, the intelligence capabilities of the local police are not as sophisticated as that of the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency. The intelligence data, as well as the dossiers built through the years on key leaders and operatives of different terrorist groups, have not been made accessible to the local police forces, as these remained under the exclusive control of the FBI, the CIA, and other defense and intelligence machinery of the federal government. In this respect, “the tremendous demand now being placed on police agencies to collect information and provide it a central clearing house in order to develop and coordinate intelligence on terrorist risks throughout the country” (Hasisi et al 2009, p. 193). It is clear that when it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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