Police Fault Homeland Security Policy; Group Calls for More Local Focus

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 15, 2007 | Go to article overview

Police Fault Homeland Security Policy; Group Calls for More Local Focus


Byline: Jerry Seper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A national homeland security strategy that focuses on urban areas and seeks to bolster the country's ability to respond to and recover from a terrorist attack is "fundamentally flawed," says the head of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

IACP President Joseph C. Carter said the nation's "paramount priority" should be the prevention of terrorist attacks in the nation and cited "a critical need" for improved cooperation and information sharing among law-enforcement agencies at all levels of government.

"Unfortunately, the vast majority of federal homeland security efforts have focused on increasing our national capabilities to respond to and recover from a terrorist attack," Chief Carter told The Washington Times.

"Despite these efforts and the billions of dollars appropriated by Congress for homeland security initiatives, local law-enforcement executives have grown increasingly concerned over a homeland security strategy that has moved too slowly and has not fully comprehended the post-September 11 role of local law enforcement in securing our homeland," he said.

The veteran law-enforcement official, who also is chief of the Massachusetts Transit Police Department, where he is responsible for the safety of the public transportation system in 175 cities and towns, said the government's urban anti-terrorism strategy "is not the way to make our homeland and hometowns safer.

"Fundamentally," he said, "hometown security is homeland security."

Chief Carter emphasized the "vital role" local law-enforcement agencies play in homeland security efforts.

"As larger metropolitan areas become more secure, terrorists will seek out other less-protected targets to attack," he said. …

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