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PROTECTING AMERICA FROM TERRORIST ATTACK
Law Enforcement Partnerships Across America

09/10/04

Graphic of Video cover for 'Vigilance: Patrolling in the New Era of TerrorismIt's a big country. How to protect it when credible intelligence suggests that terrorists want to launch a major attack on U.S. soil between now and Inauguration Day?

One important answer: law enforcement partnerships.

Partnerships that are already in place, thanks to the regular face-to-face meetings and briefings that now take place at every level of law enforcement, a legion of new intelligence and information-sharing initiatives, and the nearly three-fold increase in the number of the multi-agency Joint Terrorism Task Forces that coordinate investigations and intelligence activities at the grass-roots level.

And partnerships that have just taken another step forward, thanks to a recent nationwide information campaign aimed at your neighborhood police department.

It was a partnership, in fact, that put this campaign together, with representatives of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Terrorist Screening Center, and federal, state, local, and campus public safety agencies leading the way.

The thrust? To provide local and state police officers across America who patrol the streets and neighborhoods of their communities every day with detailed guidance on:
1) What to look for when it comes to unusual or suspicious factors that may indicate a possible terrorist threat, including signs of pre-operational planning and surveillance, suicide bombers, and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices;
2) What to do when encountering these signs or other suspicious behavior, including how to work with the Terrorist Screening Center to report and handle the situation.

What materials were provided? A complete package that included:

  • A short, two-part video/DVD entitled "Vigilance: Patrolling in the New Era of Terrorism" that can be presented between police shifts or during scheduled training;
  • A companion brochure that spells out what to be aware of and provides the locations and phone numbers of every Joint Terrorism Task Force nationwide;
  • A instruction guide for law enforcement supervisors presenting the information to their patrol officers; and
  • A Terrorism Quick Reference Card, which lists suspicious signs of possible terrorist activity on a small card that fits into the overhead visor of police vehicles.

Who got copies of the package? State, local, and college law enforcement departments and organizations nationwide ... more than 22,000 in all.

The reaction? Highly positive. Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, Police Chief Anthony Jannicelli, for example, wrote to say: "Your information has done a great job of reinforcing the message that the 'front line soldier in the domestic war' on terrorism is the patrol officer."

Special thanks to: Louisiana State University for its filming and technical services.

Link: Office of Law Enforcement Coordination