State Fusion Centers: Their Effectiveness in Information Sharing & Intelligence Analysis

By Renee Graphia Joyal | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
Post 9/11 Policing: Changes and
Challenges

It was not until after the 9/11 terrorist attacks that America’s attitudes changed regarding law enforcement’s role in counterterrorism activities. This oversight has been attributable to a number of cultural, political, and historical factors in American life, while other countries attitudes regarding law enforcement’s role in countering terrorism, such as the United Kingdom and Israel, differs due to enduring class, ethnic and/or religious conflicts, as well as the more centralized structure of their law enforcement community.

This is not to argue that the United States has been exempt from the presence and consequences of terrorist threats, both domestic and international. However, even after significant acts of terrorism have been perpetrated on American soil, such as the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 or the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, neither the police nor the general public viewed terrorism-related threats a the responsibility of state, local and tribal police agencies (Damphousse, 2010). The U.S. law enforcement community has traditionally focused on public safety and common crime, and since the 1960s, the ensuing “war on crime” campaign has defined police officers’ roles in criminal matters.

In 1965, President Johnson appointed the President’s Crime Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of escalating crime rates in America and to offer recommendations regarding how to reduce the problem. For decades to follow, the “war on crime” became the political tool that shaped public policy regarding how the American

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