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Ethics, Terrorism, and the Future of Policing - Essay Example

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Though the police mission and operation had a relatively insignificant role in the federal security arena, the recent terrorist attacks like the one on September 11 acted as a wake up call for the police department in realizing its role in countering terrorism…
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Ethics, Terrorism, and the Future of Policing
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Download file to see previous pages Policing in the US has changed significantly as a result of the recent terrorist threats. Though the police mission and operation had a relatively insignificant role in the federal security arena, the recent terrorist attacks like the one on September 11 acted as a wake up call for the police department in realizing its role in countering terrorism. According to the Police Executive Research Forum study named ‘Learning from 9/11: Comparative case studies of the law enforcement response in New York’, the police departments in the US have understood the need to renew their four major elements of counter-terrorism tasks: prevention/preparedness, response/crisis management, consequence management, and prevention (cited in National Institute of Justice, 2007). Similarly, the study by the Council of State Governments (2006), named ‘Impact of terrorism on state law enforcement: adjusting to new roles and changing conditions’ points out the various practices and procedures the police have adopted in communication, cooperation, and collaboration. For example, various police departments have started improving their communication and collaboration with Arab-American communities. Though it has become evident that Arab-Americans are still highly suspicious of the federal agencies, generally, all law enforcement agencies expressed the desire to improve relations with the Arab-American communities. A look into the renewed attitude of the Los Angeles Police Department in meeting terrorism will prove that the agency has well understood its role in preventing terrorism. To illustrate, according to Downing (2009), the Deputy Chief and Commanding Officer of the Counter-terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau, the police have adopted such a policing culture that cooperates with all other federal agencies in the fight against terrorism through proper intelligence gathering and community interaction. An example of the efforts by police to improve communication with communities is the Muslim Community Forum hosted by the Los Angeles Police Department Chief William J. Bratton. The forum aims at improving communication, reducing friction, and promoting collaboration. However, the mere fact is that various strategies adopted by the police as a way to prevent terrorism are considered as an invasion into the privacy and liberty of people. In other words, such measures are often against the common notion of data protection, data privacy, and individual liberty. Some such policing strategies that are criticized for being anti-privacy are racial or ethnic profiling, creation of privacy-intrusive databases, body scanners, and so on. To illustrate, the Los Angeles Police Department reveals that it has developed a technological tool named Regional Public Private Infrastructure Collaboration System (RPPICS) that enables the police department to have access to private information of people in order to harden targets. In addition is the improved cyber investigation initiated by police forces in their effort to identify radicalization and terrorist activities on the net. There are various people and agencies that raise their concern about the increasing racial profiling in the US in the name of counter-terrorism activities. The American Civil Liberties Union has been raising voice against the increasing racial profiling after the 11 September attack. It is alleged that the Obama administration has inherited a shameful legacy of racial profiling, and got it codified in FBI guidelines. This profiling that considers Arabs and Muslims as suspects is a serious violation of their right to presumption of innocence and equal protection ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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