Local Law Enforcement Responds to Terrorism: Lessons in Prevention and Preparedness   [open pdf - 2MB]

The tragic events of September 11, 2001, in which terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and hijacked the plane that would ultimately crash in rural Pennsylvania, have added a new dimension to American policing. While it is true that the federal government is increasing its efforts in the area of terrorism prevention and response, a large degree of responsibility for responding to threats of terrorism rests at the local level. Experience now tells us that the first responders to any future incidents will most assuredly be local police, fire and rescue personnel. Therefore, law enforcement officials must now strategically rethink public security procedures and practices in order to maximize the full potential of their resources. The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) is publishing this issue of COPS Innovations to discuss the types of resources that police may want to consider when developing their own terrorism prevention and response plan. It also highlights the efforts of several COPS Office grantees who have utilized resources provided by COPS to strengthen their response to terrorism by: improving data and intelligence collection and processing; increasing the capacity to address terrorism by capitalizing on technological advancements; communicating with other public safety agencies; and responding to citizen fear and preparing to assist potential victims.

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