Handling Suspected Terrorism
The roles of local law enforcement agents in cases of terror attacks involve notifying the relevant authorities to carry out investigations on the attack scenes, controlling crowds, and securing the areas under threat.
They maintain communication with the citizens to reassure and inform them about the progress of the investigation and security.
The San Francisco local law enforcers take roles in coordinating with the terrorism early warning groups (TEWG) through production and dissemination of intellectual outcomes (San Francisco Bay Area Regional Emergency Coordination Plan, 2008).
They provide information to TEWG and other state government institutions in order to allow proper connections of the available ideas. They establish policing initiatives that aim at improving security and prevention given the potential loss of life that can arise from a terrorist attack.
As a result, the local security should be increased during main events same as raising security patrols in major entries such as ports, airports, bridges, and such important infrastructures as buildings holding huge numbers of people or housing government offices.
Furthermore, it administers trained personnel involved in ensuring public safety and organization as well as to monitor and report suspicious events.
Conducting security surveys may also be required to identify problems, give advices, and take measures securing possible target sites while ensuring that the officers undertake proper training before handling these activities.
Finally, the enforcers facilitate the implementation of a communication system termed as Roam Secure Alert Network (RSAN) that facilitates the delivery of threat reports (San Francisco Bay Area Regional Emergency Coordination Plan, 2008).
Moreover, the San Francisco officer may utilize community policing officers to promote communication with residents and local business owners as they are likely to notice changes. The enforcement upholds the regulation of the command and emergency reaction prior to and after a threat.
They can know the newcomers as well as leaders of immigrant communities and ask for their help in monitoring suspicious behavior. The law enforcer is required to share relevant information with the pertinent authorities hence upgrading of the information system or employing a properly trained analyst.
Gathering information from the private sector can also facilitate handling the threat of a terrorist attack. These include banks and cash-transfer stations which can inform about suspicious financial transactions. Others are car rental agencies, motels, and private security practitioners who can provide information about distrustful activities.
Disaster prevention requires the officer to work closely with other city agencies such as the fire department, hospitals and schools. Establishing a partnership with the media is also vital as it can help to ease public anxiety through reporting how the threat is being handled.
Furthermore, it is essential for the law enforcement officers to ensure coordination of all these sectors, which falls under their responsibility. Observation of the above protocols gives the officer and other involved authorities a high chance of eliminating the threat.
Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO)
In San Francisco, the TLO has a primary role to assist the line staff in spotting incidents associated to terror events as well as sharing the knowledge.
They are contacted by the higher organizations to avail the information obtainable on the predicted attacks (San Francisco Bay Area Regional Emergency Coordination Plan, 2008). The officers are not allowed to participate in the investigations unless stated otherwise.
Their duties also include developing a working association with the local agencies to boost the compilation and understanding of the terror information.
Under the federal Information Sharing Environment (ISE) instituted in 2004, the department is expected to share information internally and with the state police, FBI, Fusion Centers, and other local agencies.
The department might need to upgrade the information system, employ a trained analyst, or assign a TLO to collect and transfer information to the appropriate agencies within the ISE (Newman & Clarke, 2008, p.13).
In addition, the TLO serves as a link in matters related to terrorism information in the public-safety agency by helping identify terrorism-related situations and sharing intelligence related to terrorist activity.
He/She attends meetings and receives training and information from entities engaged in a terrorism investigation which is used to educate members of his department. They alert public-safety officers about terrorists’ way of operating and warn them on unreported terrorism indicators.
They are contacted when suspicious activities are witnessed and forward the information available to authorities involved in public safety. The TLOs improve the degree of their communities through upgrading the reporting system that facilitates an efficient fight against threats formulated by terrorists.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Bjelopera (2013) stated that the FBI was the lead agency investigating the federal crime of terrorism defined as a felony targeted to manipulate and affect the behaviors of the authorities or government through threats and coercion or to strike back against government actions.
In San Francisco, the FBI collects intelligence for preventive policing which involves tracking legal activities in anticipation of an attack.
Information about terrorism threats or suspicious incidences are brought to the attention of the FBI by the public, other government agencies, state, or such local law enforcement as in San Francisco (Bjelopera, 2013). Subsequently, the FBI carries out investigation from reliable sources using various analysis techniques.
In San Francisco, their investigations expand from earlier crimes retrieved from TLOs and the local law enforcers, connecting with other federal personnel, or international complements with linking information being selected and passed to the FBI via intelligence fusion sites (Bjelopera, 2013).
Individuals associated with terrorism on lesser offenses such as immigration violations are apprehended for further questioning while suspects are befriended via government undercover operations and offered assistance in their activities.
Once they fall into this trap, their plans are explored and exposed until the individuals are arrested and prosecuted.
Bjelopera, J. (2013). Federal Beaureu of Investigation and Terrorism investigation. Web.
Newman, G. and Clarke, R. (2008). Policing terrorism: An executive’s guide. U.S. Department of Justice. Web.
Richards, E., Rathbun, K., Brito, C. & Luna, A. (2006). The role of law enforcement in public health emergencies: Special considerations for an all-hazards approach. Web.
San Francisco Bay Area Regional Emergency Coordination Plan. (2008). Web.