Terrorism as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),” is the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation of the criminal laws of the United States for purposes of intimidation, coercion, or ransom.” (August, 2007). The group of people committing this act often use threats to create fear among the public. These people try to convince citizens that their government is powerless to prevent terrorism.
The Acts of terrorism include threats of terrorism; assassinations; kidnappings; hijackings; bomb scares and bombings; cyber attacks (computer-based); and the use of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons. (FEMA, 2007). In the future the act of terrorism would be even worst because of new technologies and inventions.
The question is who will protect the people? What can the law enforcement do in the future to stop terrorism? On going studies and researches are being done by the police department to create a strategic move to stop or interrupt any act of terrorism. This essay will include issues that may arise in the future of policing from the perspective of individual police personnel, police management and the community. The focus of this essay is on the law enforcement its strategy and plans in the future in policing the community.
In the future police officer would play the role as the keepers of the peace, antiterrorism specialists or community outreach agents. (Stephens,2005). Gene Stephen is a noted criminal justice futurist and has surveyed police experts and found out that a better educated police officers with improved people skills and a stronger understanding on emerging technologies will be crucial to successful policing in the future.
Police officers are being addressed in the past as “peace officers,” and define public policing as the “absence of crime.” This has been change as the time goes by and as the crime committed becomes even more complicated. In the 21st century policing has become even more challenging for the police personnel, wherein causes of crimes and disorder often lie outside their community, demanding new and innovative approaches from police.
Today offenders are usually thousands miles away while committing the crimes. Terrorists act may takes place in a certain place without the physically presence of the criminals. Such act includes chemical and biological mayhem, community hackers and crackers wherein they can manipulate data’s in the system even if they are thousand miles away. In the United States the most prevalent crime committed is the identity theft often assisted by Internet scams.
How can police personnel cope up with this technology? Probably the best way to treat criminals committing such crime should be counteracted by the same act that they committed it. Due to the increasing crime committed brought by the new technologies international conventions involving different countries was held last November 2007. The convention was entitled “International Policing Toward 2020.”
Future of policing depends on what type of the society being policed. The ability of the police personnel to identify the society that needs to be policed is important. Whether the police will need to use harsh type of policing or you need to ask the cooperation of the society. The key to an effective policing in the future is that police personnel must have a deeper understanding of what he was up to.
This mean police personnel must be knowledgeable enough to handle crimes in the future. Trainings and seminars are being conducted on various areas in the United States. One organization who’s been handling researches, teaching and training police is the Society of Police Futurists International (PIF). The PIF consists of men and women who are most likely to understand the path ahead and be able to predict the threats and promises to expect in the next few years.
Since we are living in the 21st century wherein criminals just can place a chip on anything and then destroy everything, PIF focuses on the new technology. The police futurist focuses on the high tech communication and state of the art technology. Police personnel can adjust in this kind of situation by proper training and education. The government can increase the fund in the education that can be given to the police. To be able to attend to crimes like cyber crime police personnel must know what he is up to.
One of the problem concerning the trainings and education of police personnel is the financial fund. In the article written by Jeremy Wilson the director of the Center on Quality Policing at the RAND Corporation (a non profit research corporation), he identifies that the United States are having a hard time meeting the
new challenges in policing. Based on his analysis they need the support of the federal government to go far beyond traditional local crime-fighting duties. As a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, police today and in the future have a major new homeland security responsibility.
Because of what happened the country need an extra hand from its community by recruiting enough number of police personnel to handle surveillance of airports, government building, mass transit systems and other potential terrorists’ target. They also have additional duties to foil terrorist’s attacks before they occur. The law enforcement agencies must be ready anytime to respond the possibility of other complicated attack such as chemical, biological and other unconventional weapons.
Managing police force is much more complicated than handling an organization. It is not just hiring someone because you like him. Today recruiting is even harder after the Sept 11, 2001 bombing. People who want to join the force should be checked carefully for you might hire a terrorist undercover. Today the organization needs to require more officers, with more skills at a higher cost.
Now the problem will be the financial availability. Before the police management focuses only on the daily needs of the organization such staffing needs and mandatory training requirements. But to adapt in the new security duties and changing labor force, police department will need to develop a long term plans for recruiting the right officers with the right skills. Unfortunately the police department is not equipped enough to check every person who wants to join the department.
Aside from the lack of equipment the department also lacks on funds. Federal assistance to police departments has dropped in 2007. The chiefs of police reacted on the cutting of funds for the law enforcement nationwide. The role of the police personnel and the department is important not only during this time of terrorism but in the future as well.
Trainings and education on the new technologies is important. How can police personnel fight terrorists attacking the system of a government agency if he doesn’t know how to fight it? Technologies nowadays are very much complicated as compared before and in the early 90’s. To fight these high tech attacks the police department should be very much aware of the new technologies to become effective.
A five year plan is suggested in fighting the terrorists starting from the community, city, nationwide and then internationally. The department should show the government how important is the additional funds in policing the future. Funds will be allocated to chosen personnel trainings and education. They will be the one who will forefront the department during the time of terrorists act either biologically, chemically and technologically.
Focusing on their needs such as proper compensation, additional incentives and other benefits is important to help them become more dedicated not only on their job but in the department as well. It is therefore best to plan, present and proves to the government that the planning for the future of police management needs the federal support especially in funding. Proper planning is the main key for an effective policing in the future. The planning has to start with the police officer, the department and then the government.
“Community policing” is the term given to describe the wide range of policing reforms. (Columbian Journalism Review, 1999) In as early as 1980’s the liberal police executives and academics have been advocating the notion that police work directly, in an equal partnership, with community groups on prevention strategies appropriate to a particular community’s problems. Community policing includes an aggressive police presence in high-crime areas.
In the September 11, 2001 attack of terrorist, the police visibility is seen not only on the city where the attack happened but nationwide as well. The question might be if the crimes committed are getting more complicated and now the identity theft and hackers are very much rampant how can community policing act on this crimes? As mentioned in the police management training and education is important, and then if a police force is equipped with advance technology as well as educated on the new technologies then this will not be a problem.
The U.S. Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) defines the term broadly as any policing aimed more at crime prevention than on chasing and catching bad guys; those tactics can include working with the community, decentralizing command, or simply increasing the number of beat police officers in a community. All these approaches have their defenders and critics, and all can point to some sort of research showing that they help make neighbourhoods safer, but they are not the same thing. The approach in community policing has become popular and has gained support from the government because of what they might have seen as effective in policing in the future.
Community policing is the new approach to public safety. It combines the best aspects of several time-proven policing techniques in order to combat not only crime and disorder, but also the fear of crime and the likelihood of crime. It is both a philosophical approach and a set of practical steps to carry out that approach. It a police work with the community and other organizations, both public and private, to address local concerns and move towards long-term solutions to crime related problems.
Community policing is the involvement of the community it requires more than just involving the citizens but it also requires the inclusion of other governmental agencies, the educational system, public and private social service providers and many local business. Also included are the criminal justice system, human rights groups, religious-based resources, and any other groups that can help find and maintain solutions to the community’s needs.
In addition, the family unit must again become a major player in the crime prevention arena. It is therefore literally means that involving everybody to fight against criminals who wants to destroy peace and order not only in one location but worldwide as well. Community policing also includes preventive measures. The goal of community policing includes the following:
The best approach in community policing especially in fighting terrorism it is best to first identify the cause and work cooperatively by creating a plan that can be useful not only today but in the coming years. It is effective to balance the approach one that relies equally on law enforcement, crime prevention, and community involvement in issues about crimes and terrorism.
The future of policing lies on the people involved on it. A plan is important in dealing with criminals and terrorism. Nowadays you are not sure who you are dealing with. You might be hiring a terrorist without knowing it. Your plan maybe effective but without proper funding and cooperation from the different department and organization of the community and the government then the plan will not be successful.
As mentioned above the following factors are important education, training, community cooperation and funds. To achieve the foresee future of policing the combination of the above factors should be present in planning. Since terrorism is an international concern it is best to be up dated on convention and seminars on new preventive measures that the different countries are doing to fight and stop the increasing number of terrorism.
Prevention is better than battling with these terrorist. If the police force where able to prevent such act before it will take place then million of people will be safe. As what medical personnel would say “Prevention is better than cure.” Police force can also adopt this phrase. Since United States are among the nation who is being attacked by terrorist it is best for them to plan policing not only today but in the future as well.
Embracing the Future of Law Enforcement, Platypus Magazine, December 2007,
Policing, Columbia Journalism Review, February 15, 1999,
Scheider,M., Chapman,R., April 2003, Community Policing and Terrorism
Wilson, J.,May 23, 2006, Police Personnel Crisis Needs Federal Leadership
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