The tragic events of September 11, 2001 added a new dimension to American policing. While it is true that the federal government is increasing its efforts in the area of terrorism prevention and response, a large degree of responsibility for responding to threats of terrorism rests at the local level. Experience now tells us that the first responders to any future incidents will most assuredly be local police, fire, and rescue personnel. As a result, law enforcement officials must now strategically rethink public security procedures and practices in order to maximize the full potential of their resources.
There are a number of considerations that must be taken into account when addressing homeland security. These include human intelligence gathering activities, intelligence and data analysis, and partnerships between law enforcement agencies, other public safety and service agencies, and the public at large. Whether through funding police officers and technology, or providing training and publications, the COPS Office is committed to providing the law enforcement community with the resources required to enhance community security and contribute to the overall goal of national domestic preparedness.
The COPS Office will continue to examine ways to provide both direct and indirect support to local and state law enforcement practitioners. Information is provided on Guides and Reports, Training and Technical Assistance, and Links to Other Resources concerning homeland security that may be of interest to local police.