Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

FBI Chief Pledges Increased Cooperation with Local Law Enforcement. (Cities Respond to Terrorism)

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

FBI Chief Pledges Increased Cooperation with Local Law Enforcement. (Cities Respond to Terrorism)

Article excerpt

TORONTO -- Acknowledging that some FBI agents have wrongly turned down offers of police help with the Sept. 11 investigation, FBI Director Robert Mueller pledged last week to intensify cooperation with police on the largest terrorism case in U.S. history. Addressing a gathering of the International Association of Police Chiefs in Toronto, Mueller spoke of expanding anti-terror task forces around the United States and said he and Attorney General John Ashcroft had been working closely with police representatives to "explore ways to improve relations.

"I learned that in some cases, the FBI was turning away your offers of help. This is unacceptable," Mueller said to resounding applause from police representing forces in all 50 states, Canada and Europe.

Police officials at the annual gathering have voiced frustration over the sometimes-difficult relationships between the law enforcement agencies. At a seminar on reacting to terrorist attacks, Mike Berkow, chief of the Irvine, Calif., police department, mentioned a case in which his officials had sought information from the CIA about a suspect with possible international links.

When Berkow added that the response had been unhelpful, the roomful of police chiefs erupted in a knowing chuckle.

Joseph Dunne, first deputy commissioner of the New York City police department, complained that the new anti-terrorism fails to require federal agencies to share intelligence with state and local authorities. …

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