chapter  5
14 Pages

Terrorism and the City: The Role of Local Law Enforcement

Police functions in the United States have traditionally developed at the local level because of a historically strong opposition against the centralized policing models that were associated with the European autocratic regimes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Fogelson 1977). At present, there exist almost 18,000 police organizations in the United States, employing more than 800,000 sworn officers.2 It is obviously impossible to review all the terrorism-related efforts of these agencies in their respective jurisdictions. However, seeking to indicate important trends, this chapter concentrates on some of the issues involved with local police functions in the area of terrorism, with an emphasis on municipal policing. The discussion begins with a review of relevant developments in New York City to reveal the impact of terrorism on policing in the city that, more than any other place in the United States, was impacted by the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. This chapter next turns to other developments in local counterterrorism policing to estimate broader trends of local counterterrorism policing.