Law Enforcement Innovations In Reaction To The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks And The Virginia Tech Massacre

1112 words - 4 pages

The terrorist attacks to the World Trade Center towers in New York City on September 11, 2001 has changed the way federal, state and local police departments communicate with each other, their structures, and operations. The new federal organization known as Homeland Security set out to coordinate their work at the state level, collect, analyze and share pertinent information and intelligence, protect key infrastructure and assets, secure the nation’s borders and ports, team up with federal and local task forces, and prepare new response training, equipment, systems and strategies (Foster and Cordner, 2005). The Federal Bureau of Investigation also shifted focus from addressing traditional crimes to preventing terrorist attacks. This is a change in strategy much like the change between the reform and community policing eras (National Research Council, 2004).

It would be next to impossible for federal agencies to work directly with local agencies since there are around 18,000 local departments throughout the nation (Foster and Cordner, 2005). Occurrences such as these are the downfall of a decentralized police system, but 9/11 has created more cohesion through the federal, state and local agencies (National Research Council, 2004). This resulted from state agencies that were selected as a liaison between the federal and local law agencies to do business such as disseminating information, sharing resources and asking for assistance (Foster and Cordner, 2005). This centralization makes more levels of administration responsible for strategies and tactics (Kelling and Moore, 1988).

State agencies saw a 75.4 percent increase in terrorism related intelligence gathering, analysis and dissemination, 61.3 percent increase in Homeland security planning for the state, and a 58.1 percent increase in the protection of dignitaries (Foster and Cordner, 2005). Further, local agencies saw about a 70 percent increase in airport security and high gains of over 60 percent in intelligence gathering, analysis and dissemination and the security of key infrastructures. 15 areas of increased activity were mentioned with increases varying from five to over 95 percent for both state and local departments. Also, local agencies reported a high increase in the reallocation of resources required for terrorist prevention.

State communication with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of Domestic Preparedness and the Immigration and Naturalization Service increased 70 – 80 percent (Foster and Cordner, 2005). In connection, local communication with the FBI, Office of Domestic Preparedness and the ATF increased between 50 and 65 percent. Additionally, state-level training for local agencies increased along with resources allotted to such practices.

Many states are funding intelligence fusion centers that can improve the collection, analysis and dissemination of information (Foster and Cordner, 2005). These centers would include computerized...

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