CHAPTER 14 Police
Identify the four systems in which police play a major role in the context of homeland security.
Identify the elements of the mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Explain the term “interoperability” and why it is such a significant issue in policing today.
Identify the four primary phases of the preparedness cycle, including the police role in each phase.
Describe the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and its importance to policing today.
Explain why information sharing is so important to the police role in homeland security.
Describe intelligence-led policing and contrast it with community policing and problem-oriented
The term “homeland security” was Y
not common or familiar at the end of the twen-
tieth century. At that time, just a few years ago, most experts, as well as casual observers, had no difficulty distinguishing between the military responsibility for homeland
1 the police responsibility for protecting people
defense against our nation’s enemies and
and property against crime and criminals.
5 But then the world changed. We learned that
modern international terrorism represents both a military threat and a crime. Today, it
is commonly accepted that the police have an important role to play in protecting both
8 terrorism. Additionally, it has become more
local communities and the nation against
widely accepted that the police role extends
T to “all hazards.” The police role today within
the context of homeland security includes important responsibilities related to crime,
national defense, security, and safety. S
Police and Homeland Security 419
The Police Role in Homeland Security
The police occupy a central role in homeland security, which is comprised of four
important sectors or systems (see Figure 14.1). In accordance with the traditional view of
policing, the police are the gatekeepers at the front end of the criminal justice system.
They try to prevent crime, respond when crime does occur, and make criminal cases
against suspected offenders. For the most part, L
the rest of the criminal justice system
depends on the police, who control the entry point
I to the system and largely determine
which offenders will be handled by prosecutors, judges, and correctional officials.
D has done is highlight several other
What the new concept of homeland security
systems in which the police also play important roles.
D Since the events of September 11,
2001, it has been recognized that the police are an
E important part of the anti-terrorism
effort, working in cooperation with the military, intelligence agencies, and others in the
L “Police and Terrorism,” Box 14.1).
national defense or national security system (see
America’s 18,000 state, local, and special-purposeLlaw 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 canTplay the role of “first preventers” of terrorism.1 Also, should terrorist acts occur, state and local police will be the first responders,
not federal law enforcement agencies or the military. The crucial role of local police in the
United States was highlighted by Israeli terrorismFexpert Tal Hanan:
local police officers must be trained regarding the threat [of suicide attacks], in
particular the identification of suspicious activities and patterns used by terrorN
ist cells in preparation for attacks. Police intelligence
functions should include
The Central Role of Police in Homeland Security
420 The Strategic Management Perspective
Police and Terrorism
It has been said that 9/11 changed everything. This is certainly true for local police agencies and
their chiefs. It is increasingly clear that federal agencies, such as the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service, can no longer work alone in protecting the United States from further attack. Rather, they
must work in partnership with other public and private agencies, and most important, with local
police. Local police can identify potential terrorists living or operating in their jurisdictions, they can
help protect vulnerable targets, and they can coordinate the first response to terror attacks. These
are heavy new responsibilities, but they cannot be shrugged off, because elected officials and the
public will increasingly expect their police to be prepared.
Source: Graeme R. Newman and Ronald V. Clarke. 2008. Policing Terrorism: An Executive’s Guide.
Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented
D Policing Services, Brief 01.
L gathering methods, especially the montraining on terrorist-related intelligence
itoring of “risk groups” and the components
used to prepare bombs. … local
police departments must ensure that, every police officer is properly prepared for
his or her role in combating suicide attacks, as they are the last line of defense.
Since the experience of Hurricane Katrina
in 2005, there is also greater recognition
of the vital role that police play within the safety system. The key players in this system
include fire protection personnel, emergency medical staff, public health, hospitals, and
F first responders to a serious natural or manemergency managers. But, often, the very
made emergency are police. Also, if a catastrophic
situation requires mandatory evacuaF
tion, the police are the ones who will have to coordinate the evacuation and, if necessary,
enforce it.3 Likewise, if a chemical, biological, or pandemic situation creates the need for
N to enforce that. In fact, through traffic safety
quarantine, the police will be called upon
and related functions the police have long
Ycontributed significantly to the safety system—
it just has not been widely recognized or emphasized until recently.
One more system in which police play an important part is the security system. We
1 and expect to make a clear distinction vis-àtraditionally think in terms of private security
vis public police. However, private security
5 and private policing have grown substantially
in recent decades, and now often perform their duties in quasi-public places such as
schools, malls, and even downtown business districts. Also, formal and informal public–
8 and public police have become extremely
private partnerships between private security
common. This takes on great importance
T in the homeland security context because it is
estimated that 85 percent of the nation’s critical infrastructure is privately owned.
Among these expanded police roles,S
perhaps the most challenging and controversial is
the anti-terrorism role associated with national security. According to Larry Hoover, a new
vision of American policing’s national security role and responsibility has emerged.5 He
Police and Homeland Security 421
identifies four challenges faced by local law enforcement in participating in efforts addressing homeland security: technological, logistical, political, and ethical. The most significant
technological challenge is interoperability, which is the ability to exchange information
between organizations. Interoperability, or the lack thereof, pertains to both voice and data
communications. Organizations that should be able to exchange information may include
not only local, state, and federal law enforcement, but also public health departments,
emergency medical services (ambulances and hospitals), and fire departments.
L data off written reports and out of
The most problematic logistical issue is getting
officers’ heads and into electronic formats that can
I be searched and shared. The necessity
of this function is apparent but, if a majority of police officers’ time is spent collecting
data and entering it into a computer, little time isDleft for other responsibilities. Political
issues take a variety of forms that focus on finances,
D role expectations, secrecy, and productivity, among others. Finally, ethical challenges
E include the issues of profiling and
open records legislation. While technological, logistical, political, and ethical challenges
are not new for the police administrator, those L
associated with homeland security are
unlike ones faced before.
MODERN POLICING BLOG
January 11, 2015
There has been an ongoing debate since 2001 over whether the best response to terrorism is military
or police. This column argues that the tragic events in Paris demonstrate the folly of treating terrorists
as criminals. A follow-up rebuttal column argues just theAopposite, that the French experience doesn’t
lend any credence to the necessity of treating terrorism asN
Source: The above is a reproduction of a post from the Modern Policing blog. The link to the post is https://gcordner.wordpress.
com/2015/01/11/terrorism-military-or-police-problem/. The hyperlink at “This column” links to https://www.lawfareblog.
Terrorism—military or police problem?
com/war-or-crime-figure-it-out, and the hyperlink at “rebuttal column” links to http://www.lawfareblog.com/2015/01/
Contemporary policing themes of community engagement, collaboration, globali6
zation, and privatization (discussed in Chapter 15) are all associated with the expanded
8 highlights the need to design and
homeland security mission. Community engagement
implement roles for the public to play other than
T as victims of terrorism and disasters.
Collaboration and coordination among so many separate law enforcement agencies,
S levels of government is a huge chalother providers of safety and security, and multiple
lenge. In regard to community engagement and collaboration, the adoption of community policing since the 1980s certainly broadened the police perspective and taught the
422 The Strategic Management Perspective
importance of partnerships, but the new homeland security mission and context present
even greater demands and difficulties.
The effect of globalization is that, increasingly, we may be dealing with issues that
originate in another country, but affect us locally. This was demonstrated most dramatically by 9/11, but is also evidenced on a daily basis by transnational crime, especially
cybercrime, that can realistically be regarded as a threat in every community in the nation.
Privatization, as noted before, is not a new trend but assumes heightened importance in
L If one considers that airlines, chemical plants,
the high-stakes arena of homeland security.
bioengineering labs, and nuclear powerIplants (just to name a few) are mainly privately
owned in the United States, and largely protected by private security and private police, the
D in order to protect public safety is obvious.
critical nature of public–private collaboration
Two critical events that occurred early
D in this twenty-first century have had a very
significant impact on American society, E
including American policing and police administration. These two events were the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and Hurricane
Katrina in August 2005.
September 11, 2001
On September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers commandeered four airplanes leaving from
Boston, Newark, and Washington, DC,T
evading airport security at every juncture.6 More
than 3,000 people were killed in New York City at the World Trade Center, in Arlington,
Virginia, just outside Washington, DC at the Pentagon, and in Stoney Creek Township,
F it was learned that several of the hijackers
Pennsylvania, in an open field. Subsequently,
had come to the attention of law enforcement
F authorities in the months and years leading
up to the attack, but no one had “connected the dots.” This gave rise to considerably more
emphasis on intelligence analysis and information sharing. In addition, the heroic efforts
N personnel in New York and at the Pentagon
of police, firefighters, and other emergency
were hindered by overloaded communications
networks and a lack of interoperability;
that is, the inability of first responders from different agencies to communicate with each
other across voice radio and data systems. This gave rise to technological enhancements
1 for shared and coordinated communications
and, just as important, improved protocols
To provide a description and analysis of the events of September 11, including
preparedness and response, a 10-member commission, the National Commission on
8 (Public Law 107–306) was formed. The 9/11
Terrorist Attacks upon the United States
Commission, as it was better known, T
eventually produced 41 recommendations that
directed the revamping of the national security apparatus to combat terrorism and
defend the nation against weapons of S
mass destruction. Several of the commissioners
subsequently tracked the implementation of the commission’s recommendations. In a
status report in December 2005 (the last official status report), the government received
Police and Homeland Security 423
only one A grade, for making “significant strides in using terrorism finance as an intelligence tool.”7 Categories in which the government performed most poorly included recommendations related to airline passenger screening, critical infrastructure assessment,
and efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction; for 15 of
the 41 recommendations, the government received either a D or F grade. Later, on the
tenth anniversary of the attacks (in 2011), the Bipartisan Policy Center identified nine
remaining unfinished commission recommendations.8
D Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama,
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck
Florida, and Georgia, causing more than 1,300 fatalities,
with additional people missing
and many injured. Hurricane Katrina was the costliest
ever recorded in the
United States, estimated at approximately $75 billion, and the fifth deadliest. As if the
hurricane itself was not enough devastation forLthe city of New Orleans, a breach of
the levees that surrounded the city occurred andLleft thousands homeless. While much
debate ensued about whether the federal government,
Louisiana state government, or
New Orleans city government was most negligent (with particular attention focused on
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a branch of the Department of
Homeland Security), one thing is certainly evident:
T “the country was not prepared for a
disaster of this magnitude, and the ensuing lack of planning, coordination, communicaI
tion and response proved to be too little, too late.”9
A bipartisan congressional committee that investigated
the problems that occurred
during and after Hurricane Katrina devoted one of
F its chapters to law enforcement. They
made several specific findings:
• A variety of conditions led to lawlessness andNviolence in hurricane-stricken areas.
• The New Orleans Police Department was ill-prepared
for continuity of operations
and lost almost all effectiveness.
1 strategy and media hype of violence
• Lack of a government public communications
exacerbated public concerns and further delayed
• The Emergency Management Assistance Compact
6 and military assistance were critical for restoring law and order.
• Federal law enforcement agencies were also T
critical to restoring law and order and
The congressional committee also found that law enforcement and public safety
communications interoperability was once again, as it had been on September 11, 2001, a
424 The Strategic Management Perspective
Hurricane Katrina: Breakdown in Law Enforcement
General unrest and lawlessness arose in crowded areas where people were uncertain about their
survival, or rescue, or prospects for evacuation. In some areas, the collapse or absence of law
enforcement exacerbated the level of lawlessness and violence. Several police departments lost
dispatch and communication capabilities, police vehicles, administrative functions such as booking, and jails to confine arrested suspects. Tremendous additional burdens were imposed on the
police, like search and rescue operations, that took priority over normal police functions. The
extent of crime and lawlessness is difficult to determine, partly because of the loss of police record
keeping during the disaster and partly because of unsubstantiated reporting by the media.
The breakdown of law enforcement was particularly notable in New Orleans. Despite the wellknown threat from flooding, the New Orleans Police Department had not taken basic steps to
protect its resources and ensure continuity of operations. For example, communications nodes,
evidence rooms, and even emergency generators were housed in lower floors susceptible to
flooding. When the levees broke and the floodwaters overtook police headquarters and district
offices, the department lost its command and control and communications functions. Police
vehicles believed to be moved out of harm’s way were lost to the floodwaters. Hundreds of New
Orleans Police Department officers went missing—some for legitimate reasons and some not—at
a time they were needed most. This left the city unable to provide enough manpower and other
resources to maintain law and order at shelters and on the streets.
serious impediment to disaster response F
and recovery operations. See “Hurricane Katrina:
Breakdown in Law Enforcement,” Box 14.2.
Department of Homeland Security
Source: Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane
Katrina. 2006. A Failure of Initiative. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, p. 241.
Since September 11, 2001, the United States has come to view terrorism and its
responses to terrorism differently. The 1
acts that occurred that day were unlike any we
had ever seen before. While previous incidents
at the World Trade Center in 1993 and
in Oklahoma City in 1995 gave us pause, we had nothing of this magnitude—which
affected so many people and professions—with which to compare these events. Similarly,
8 lesson about the severity of natural disasters
Hurricane Katrina gave Americans a sober
and the critical importance of a coordinated
T and effective government response to emergency situations.
S in 2003, mandated that 22 previously existing
The Homeland Security Bill, enacted
federal agencies (with combined budgets of about $40 billion and employing 170,000
workers) be collapsed into one new cabinet-level department, with additional new
Police and Homeland Security 425
divisions being created to fill existing gaps. This represented the most sweeping federal
government reorganization since the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947.
The FBI and the CIA, two premier intelligence-gathering agencies, remained independent from the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS). However, many other
agencies with law enforcement, border protection, emergency management, and intelligence-gathering capabilities became part of DHS.
The initial mission of the new department was to: (1) prevent terrorist attacks; (2)
L the damage from attacks that do
reduce vulnerability to terrorism; and (3) minimize
occur.11 The official mission statement was:
D America. We will prevent and
We will lead the unified national effort to secure
deter terrorist attacks and protect against andDrespond to threats and hazards to
the nation. We will ensure safe and s ...
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