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How should State and Local Law Enforcement be utilized, if at all, in homeland security intelligence?
- Provide evidence from the weekly readings to support your arguments via APA parenthetical citations.
- Other sources (if used at all) must be subordinate to your understanding of the readings presented in the class.
Articles for weekly assignment:
https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/reports-pub… (pages 1-24)
https://www.afio.com/publications/Guide/index.html… (pages 321-325)
I look forward to reading your posts and providing feedback on your topics!
Instructions: Your initial post should be at least 350 words.
Please respond to at least 2 other students. Responses should be a minimum of 250 words to each student and include direct questions.
Student #1 Justin
State and local law enforcement must be utilized in homeland security intelligence and play a critical role in preventing potential future terrorist attacks. The intelligence and information sharing shortcomings prior to September 11, 2001, led to the recognition that the best chance to prevent another similar attack lies in bridging the gap between federal intelligence activities and local law enforcement.
The two concepts that I view as most critical to including state and local law enforcement in homeland security intelligence are 1) the link between community policing and intelligence-led policing and 2) fusion center operations.
This week’s lesson reading highlights key sub-concepts within community policing–line officers have the flexibility to develop intimate ties with the community, and they often take ownership and pride in their specific communities in order to keep those neighborhoods safe. In order to leverage that positive working relationship with the community, citizens must act as effective sensors on behalf of the police force and provide the necessary information that leads to the next phase of problem solving, known as intelligence-led policing.
At the state level, fusion centers play a key role in linking national level intelligence with local law enforcement. The lesson reading tells us that fusion centers will receive Suspicious Activity Reports, vet them, and forward information to a Joint Terrorism Task Force if there is a terrorism nexus. Additionally, fusion centers may receive classified and unclassified information from federal partners, and disseminate the sharable information to state and local law enforcement in order to more effectively pursue potential threats.
The idea that state or local law enforcement would not have a significant role to play in homeland security intelligence is laughable at best, and lethal at worst.
Student #2 Christopher
Good morning. For this weekâ€™s forum, we were asked to tackle a much contested problem: Should State and Local Law Enforcement be utilized, if at all, in homeland security intelligence? This is an issue that I am a bit torn about. I will now look at the issue from both sides of the coin.
As a member of the Intelligence Community (IC) you always want as many assets as you can to get a good optic on what is happening around you. With this line of logic the answer is simple: Yes. I would definitely want as many tools available as possible to address the threats that face our nation. State and Local Law Enforcement are on the front lines, and just as a Soldier in the field of battle, they usually know the ground truth on what is happening. They interact regularly with the type of people that could serve as Early Warning/Imminence of Hostility (EWIOH) sensors to detect possible terrorist threats to the nation. Applying intelligence gathering principals, as discussed last week when we looked at the intelligence cycle, could be very fruitful and could potentially stop terrorist plots. As we read this week â€œstate requirements vary significantly across the country, and a single model will not meet every stateâ€™s needsâ€ therefore a state like New York would need a different model then say Idaho (Steiner, 2009). This could be accomplished though a robust network of intelligence sensors that could be established to feed into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intelligence framework. This is already occurring on some levels with the establishment of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) and fusion centers around the country.
Now, looking at the problem as a private citizen is a completely different animal. Why should the federal government implement the same intelligence framework here, on the Homefront, as they would in a foreign country? Why should police officers, who should be concentrating on keep citizens safe from crime, be focused on national level intelligence collection? Why is â€œthe Manâ€ so concerned with what average Joe American is doing on a daily basis? We do not need to further militarize our police force and add capabilities that allow them to monitor our citizens, infringing on their rights, just to keep them safe. As Benjamin Franklin (1775) put it â€œThey that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.â€
When we look at these two points of view, I tend to lean more toward the former. I do believe State and Local Law Enforcement can feed intelligence to DHS without violating the liberty of the citizens they have sworn to protect. Additionally, the lines of communication work both ways. DHS and other federal agencies, through the JTTFs and fusion centers, can give State and Local Law Enforcement information on threats in their arear that they may not have known about, therefor adding to their ability to protect citizens. In the current environment we find ourselves, I do not think State and Local Law Enforcement can keep citizens safe without the assistance from federal equities due to the nature of the threats we face together.
Steiner, J. E. (2009, October 28). Improving Homeland Security at the State Level. Studies in Intelligence Vol. 53 No. 3. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-o…
Franklin, B. (1775, November 11). Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor. Franklinpapers.org. Retrieved from http://franklinpapers.org/franklin/framedVolumes.jsp?vol=6&page=238a.