New Models of Participation and Expertise in the United States and Europe
Edited by Thierry Delpeuch and Jacqueline E. Ross
Chapter 9: Enhancing effectiveness in counterterrorism policing
Officials who lead the counterterrorism effort at national and international levels now recognize that the apparatus of conventional law enforcement is of crucial importance for their mission. Local police have become a vital source of counterterrorism intelligence, and they often make a leading contribution to the measures deployed on the ground to thwart incipient terrorist plots. Indeed, counterterrorism analysts increasingly are aware that local police can not only help identify ‘homegrown’ terrorists, but also can play a major role even in connection with intelligence-gathering efforts aimed at checking dangers that arise abroad. Because local law enforcement agencies are well situated to building relationships with the communities in which terrorists try to hide and recruit members, a RAND Corporation report urges local police to ‘actively encourage and cultivate cooperation by building stronger ties with community leaders . . .’. This conception of preventive law counterterrorism basically echoes that which emerged from the ‘community policing’ insights of the 1980s and 1990s. As Gary LaFree and James Hendrickson note, ‘In many ways the community-oriented approach favored by successful police departments is the same kind of approach that is most likely to uncover terrorist operations’. Other analysts have similarly stressed that ‘state and local law enforcement agencies . . . may be uniquely positioned to augment federal intelligence capabilities by virtue of their presence in nearly every American community [and] their knowledge of local individuals and groups . . .’.
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