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Community policing plays an integral role in curtailing terrorism, since it facilitates information flow. This requires law enforcement authorities to nurture positive relationships and trust with members of the community and business owners to form joint efforts to curtail terrorism through information sharing. Terrorists blend-in with the community when purchasing unsuspected materials and requesting permission to use facilities. The paper established that terrorists’ target is medicine and agriculture businesses, munitions stores, electronic and computer shops. Monitoring such businesses require the use of constant patrol by law enforcement officers to assess their involvement in terrorist activities. In the event of a suspicious activity, it is vital for the business owners and community members to take detailed notes and report immediately to the relevant enforcement authorities. The paper has suggested a COP program that uses beat policing and a “stop and talk” strategy to enhance police-citizen communication.
Law Enforcement and Terrorism
Types of Businesses That Could Be Considered Prime Targets for Terrorists to Seek Information, Purchase Items and Supplies, or Make Requests for Special Permits or Use of Facilities
Terrorists target medicine and agricultural businesses, which make use of mostly radioactive materials. Chemical agents and toxic chemicals acquired from such businesses include cyanide compounds, mustard agents and nerve agents. Mustard and nerve agents are not available commercially but are made synthetically using chemical compounds obtained from such businesses (The National Terror Alert Response Center, 2012). Explosives can also be made from chemicals sold in these franchises. Businesses dealing with the sale of chemical, agricultural and medicinal compounds can offer chemical supplies used by terrorists to create biological agents such as anthrax, Ricin, and Botulinum toxin.
Terrorists also target electronic shops that offer electronic components used to make bombs and other explosives. Bombs operate using electronic devices such as triggers and power supply. Terrorists can also acquire information from these businesses regarding the making of specific circuits for their explosives. Computer shops are also a target for terrorists, since they can offer the required tools for communication and initiation of cyber attacks. Terrorists can also use the expertise from computer franchises to have access to the security systems, hack into government websites and ensure secure communication with other terrorist groups. Munitions stores are also prime targets for terrorists for the supply of weapons (Central Intelligence Agency, 2012).
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How Can These Businesses Be Monitored By Local Law Enforcement Without Infringing on Civil Liberties?
Monitoring such businesses without infringing their civil liberties poses a significant challenge to law enforcement authorities. This requires the use of constant patrol by law enforcement officials around the businesses in order to assess their activities and their involvement with potential terrorists. Law enforcement monitoring should aim at identifying activities that are likely to be linked with terrorist acts, such as improper acquisition of explosives, munitions, toxic chemicals, and access cards for the facilities that are likely to be used in initiating a terrorist attack. Patrol should also include identification of suspicious people and events that indicate preparation of a terrorist attack near the business establishment.
If Business Owners and Community Members Become Suspicious of Unusual Activities or Requests, What Should They Do?
Suspicions of activities linked to acts of terrorism require immediate reporting to the relevant law enforcement authorities. It is important for the business owners and community members not to confront people involved in the suspicious terrorist activities or requests; rather, they should record details of suspicious activities relating to size, activity, location, time and date, uniform and any equipment details used during the activity (The National Terror Alert Response Center, 2012). As a result, community members and business owners should note down their gender, number of persons and their physical descriptions, the precise activity that they were undertaking, and detailed notes on equipments such as color, registration plates and make.
What Types of Strategies and Programs Should be Implemented That Will Facilitate Community Members' Abilities to Alert Law Enforcement Agencies of Suspicious Activity?
Community-oriented policing is the most effective strategy that can be used to facilitate the abilities of the community members to alert the relevant law enforcement authorities in the event of a suspicious activity. This is because community oriented policing improves trust and relationships between law enforcement authorities and community members, which in turn results in joint efforts to curtail terrorism through information sharing (Innes, 2005).
What Type of Community-Oriented Policing Program Would Allow for Businesses and Community Members to Share Information With the Police Department if They Suspect Possible Terrorist Activities?
The Unit Beat Policing is the most effective COP strategy that would facilitate information sharing between the police department and community members and business owners. This is achieved by facilitating closer contact, combining resources and enhancing information flow. Information sharing requires the establishment of a friendly relationship between the police and community members. A “stop and talk” program can also be incorporated to foster police-citizen communication. Under this program, the strategy is that law enforcement officers are supposed to spend adequate time conversing with community members and business owners on issues relating to terrorism.
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How Can Community Members and Business Owners Be Effectively Incorporated into Successful Community Watch Campaigns Regarding Terrorist Activity?
Community members and business owners play an integral role in the identification and reporting of suspicious activities within the neighborhood. Community members and business owners are an important source of information that can be used in curtailing acts of terrorism. Since they interact directly with terrorists, they are likely to offer accurate and timely information relating to acts of terrorism (Lois, 2004).
How Would the Use of Information Technology Allow for the Flow of Information to Occur Between the Police Department, Business Owners, and Community Members?
Information technology facilitates information flow between the police department, community members and business owners by providing channels of electronic communication. IT ensures accurate and timely delivery of information, which enhances the effectiveness of strategies to combat terrorism (Lois, 2004).