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NCJ Number: 192990 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Homeland Security: A Work in Progress and Under Fire
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:50  Issue:1  Dated:January 2002  Pages:71-73
Author(s): James G. Meek
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Research Paper
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the Office of Homeland Security’s ability to develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from a terrorist attack. Particular attention is paid to the Federal Government’s relationship with State and local governments.
Abstract: The Office of Homeland Security mission in relation to local municipalities follows the president’s executive order, which has three principal objectives: collect from State and local governments and private entities information about terrorist threats or activities within the United States; develop technologies for detecting biological, chemical, and radiological hazards; and, provide information regarding homeland security threats to State and local governments and private entities. The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has met a number of times with Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge and FBI Director Robert Mueller III regarding smooth communications between Federal, and local law enforcement, but there are many problems. The FOP identified three obstacles to the efficient interface between government entities: legal limitations on the transmission of classified information to police and sheriffs; executive orders prohibiting dissemination of such information; and Federal law enforcement’s cultural biases against sharing it. Even if the Federal Government improves its ability to share information, it will still have to create a mechanism for dissemination that will appeal to 18,000 law enforcement agencies. Information also needs to move up the law enforcement food chain when terrorism leads start at the local or State level. Right now, there is no effective method for channeling information to the Federal Government. Before the task of improving information sharing can be improved, the Office of Homeland Security must be staffed with 100 specialists, which will take a considerable amount of time. Another thing that must be dealt with is Director Ridge’s ability to build connections within the Federal bureaucracy, while tackling the everyday developments of biological scares and responding to the CIA’s “threat matrix,” which reports 60-100 top secret threats assessed each day. Criminologist James Fyfe says that Ridge cannot be effective under the current authority he has been given by the White House.
Main Term(s): Counter-terrorism units; Terrorism/Mass Violence
Index Term(s): Critical Infrastructure Protection; Domestic Preparedness; Information Security; Medical Readiness; Police counter-terrorism training; Police response to terrorism
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