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Policing Terrorism: The Response of Local Police Agencies to Homeland Security Concerns

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies: A Critical Journal of Crime, Law and Society Volume: 20 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2007 Pages: 91-109
Date Published
June 2007
19 pages

This paper explores the response of policing to the events of September 11, 2001, in terms of homeland security policing and the lack of some police agencies to shift to a paramilitary homeland security style of policing.


Through an examination of 16 diverse police agencies operating under Federal pressures to increase anti-terrorism enforcement and intelligence gathering practices, this study suggests that many of these agencies have not shifted to a paramilitary homeland security style of policing. Policing has always been responsive to priority and attitudinal shifts in society. Over the past two decades, the evolution of policing has led to the phenomenon of community policing, a system that values citizen input. Most recently, scholars, practitioners, and elected officials have called for a new paradigm shift in policing. In response to the terror attacks of September 11, some have called upon the police to take a more active stance in counter-terrorism initiatives and move toward a homeland security model of policing, a system that emphasizes intelligence gathering, cover investigations, information sharing, and immigration enforcement. This new model of policing has been met with resistance by many local police agencies. The majority have reported that they did not shift their core goals and priorities after September 11, in ways that reflect homeland security policing. In fact, many have bolstered their community policing and outreach efforts. Future research should focus on the intersection between community policing and homeland security concerns. This empirical study analyzes the practices and policies of police agencies operating in areas of heightened governmental pressures to increase counter terrorism activities. Tables, references

Date Published: June 1, 2007