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Respond to Patrick
State and Local Police Responsibilities
State and local police organizations should be prepared for a great many things but â€œfor all hazards,â€ is simply impossible. What is the context of all hazards or should it be assumed they should be prepared for all hazards within reason. Who is to decide what responsibilities are outside the realm of possibility, the local police or federal law enforcement organizations. Anyways, the foundational roles and responsibilities of local police officers is to protect and serve their respective communities. They are to enforce the law, keep the peace, and handle an endless list of local crimes and complaints. They are the first responders there to assist in any given situation one can find themselves. In the aftermath of 9/11, state and local law enforcement found their responsibilities to dramatically increase in the new era of homeland security (Randol, 2012).
In a 2002 survey, by Rand Corporation, â€œthe study found that larger law enforcement agencies reported undertaking a variety of terror prevention and response preparedness measures, including undergoing risk assessments, conducting training exercises, and updating mutual aid and agreements, response plans, and standard operating procedures (Randol, 2012, p. 307).â€ To me, undertaking terror prevention and preparedness activities is within reason and necessary. Terrorist attacks are local events where local and state law enforcement maintain a larger presence versus federal law enforcement personnel. They are the ones that will respond to the attack and assist all first responders in recovery operations.
The undertaking of these increased responsibilities, although necessary, have created ongoing problems in resource allocation, law enforcement priorities, and collaboration with other levels of law enforcement (Randol, 2012). Each state and local law enforcement organization has a different amount of personnel and resources meaning a varying limit in how much each can commit to terror prevention and response efforts. This leaves each jurisdiction having different capabilities in how they pursue counter-terrorism activities and has limited chances in actually mitigating an attack (Randol, 2012). Terrorism responsibilities were emphasized as being a top priority but the work load of their previous responsibilities (local crime and protecting the community) did not decrease (Randol, 2012). With the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), they have created an increasing number of task forces and fusion centers that require the collaboration of multiple law enforcement agencies. Collaboration and sharing of information between the agencies and proven to be a difficult partnership to work out.
Hazards Beyond State and Local Police Organizations
State and local police organizations by nature must be prepared for any number of threats or hazards beyond their job description. A few examples of hazards that I think state and local police organizations can reasonable Not be responsible for are chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear explosive (CBRNE) attacks. Unlike other criminal and security threats, prevention planning of CBRNE attacks requires an in-depth knowledge and skill for proper implementation. This should be solely be a DHS responsibility due to the complexity and potential consequences of a CBRNE attack. The DHS has the Office of Health Affairs (OHA) that is responsible for chemical and biological prevention and response (Department of Homeland Security [DHS], 2015). Additionally, the OHA coordinates with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease and Control on preventative and outbreak planning (DHS, 2015).
Department of Homeland Security. (2019). Office of Health Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.dhs.gov/office-health-affairs
Randol, B. (2012). The Organizational Correlates of Terrorism Response Preparedness in Local Police Departments. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 23(3), 304-326.