chapter  14
29 Pages

—Police and Homeland Security

What the new concept of homeland security has done is highlight several other systems in which the police also play important roles. Since the events of September 11, 2001, it has been recognized that the police are an important part of the anti-terrorism eort, working in cooperation with the military, intelligence agencies, and others in the national defense or national security system (see “Police and Terrorism,” Box 14.1). America’s 18,000 state, local, and special-purpose law enforcement agencies have much more intimate connections to local people and local communities than do the military, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the FBI, and thus are a crucial resource for intelligence gathering and information sharing. Based on their own observations as well as information provided by the public, police can play the role of “rst preventers” of terrorism.1 Also, should terrorist acts occur, state and local police will be the rst responders, not federal law enforcement agencies or the military. e crucial role of local police in the United States was highlighted by Israeli terrorism expert Tal Hanan:

local police ocers must be trained regarding the threat [of suicide attacks], in particular the identication of suspicious activities and patterns used by terrorist cells in preparation for attacks. Police intelligence functions should include

training on terrorist-related intelligence gathering methods, especially the monitoring of “risk groups” and the components used to prepare bombs. … local police departments must ensure that every police ocer is properly prepared for his or her role in combating suicide attacks, as they are the last line of defense.2