Police call for panel on homeland security

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ACP report

Local police chiefs are calling on the next president to retool the nation’s homeland security and crime-fighting strategies and to pay more attention to sharing information.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police on Aug. 23 issued a report that urged the next president to convene a national commission on criminal justice and security in 100 days of taking office

Despite recommendations from the 9/11 Commission and initiatives by federal, state and local communities, police departments’ lack of effectiveness in intelligence and information-sharing continues to be a “major handicap” in homeland security efforts, the report said.

“If state, tribal, and local law enforcement officers are adequately equipped and trained and fully integrated into an information- and intelligence-sharing network, they can be invaluable assets in efforts to identify and apprehend suspected terrorists,” the police chiefs wrote.

The commission also would focus on reducing violent crime.

“The harsh reality is that in the years since 2001, more than 99,000 Americans have been murdered and more than 8 million have been the victims of violent crime,” IACP President Ronald Ruecker said in a statement. “The United States needs a strategic plan that embraces the reality that protecting our communities depends on our ability to fight both crime and terrorism.”

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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