Chairman Linder Holds Hearing on "Police as First Preventers: Local Strategies in the War on Terror"
Today, Congressman John Linder (R-GA), Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear and Biological Attack, conducted a hearing entitled "Police as First Preventers: Local Strategies in the War on Terror." The purpose of today's hearing was to examine the role of local police departments in preventing acts of terrorism. The Subcommittee heard testimony from police departments of major cities which have been targeted by terrorists in the past and remain at risk today.
Chairman Linder stated, "We continue to face the real threat of a terrorist acquiring and using a weapon of mass destruction, and effective intelligence gathering is essential in preventing this from happening. For us to be successful in this effort we must include all levels of government and this includes our local law enforcement agencies."
Today's hearing focused on the need to fuse together all of the small pieces of collected intelligence and the ability to share that information quickly with local law enforcement agencies on the ground. Chairman Linder stressed the importance that prevention must begin locally and that a "Washington first" solution may not be the best approach.
"The local leaders we heard from today, in many ways, face the scourge of terrorism and it seems to me that intelligence about the next terrorist attack is more likely to come from the witnesses we had here than the national and international intelligence communities. In that regard, it is incumbent upon us to ensure training for local police in identifying terrorist tactics and the support structures terrorists need to carry out attacks."