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IADLEST Executives Visit to the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC)

Presidential Executive Order signed by President Trump supporting Federal, State and Local law enforcement officers can be seen at the following link:Executive Order on Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement Officers.....docx

Texas POST Director, Kim Vickers and Maryland POST Director, Dan Zivkovich just returned from a forum hosted by the COPS Office that discussed the recommendations from President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and how they relate to risk management.  It was a daylong meeting with an interesting and lively discussion.  Many of the items related to training, but one facet become clear: There needs to be more of a connection between elected officials, city/town managers and administrators, city/town risk managers, and chiefs of police regarding training, equipment, and logistical support needed to reduce risks to officers and citizens and liability exposure.  ( Kim and Dan discussed that POST agencies engage in risk management analysis continually as they watch events and officer performance play out in media reports and in the discussions with agencies and administrators and then craft training requirements and standards to address identified needs.)  A report from the meeting will be produced with more details, and we will share that once it is published.

While at the meeting, they learned that George Mason University has conducted research to address this issue (as contained in the “About this Research Report” section): “Where should law enforcement agencies begin in implementing these recommendations? Which recommendations should be prioritized for action, for policy implementation, or for more research? With a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Institute for Community-Police Relations of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)3 has collaborated with researchers from George Mason University’s (GMU) Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy4 to create an evidence-based Blueprint for 21st Century Policing. The research team was charged with reviewing existing research knowledge about those Task Force recommendations relevant to state and local law enforcement, highlighting promising efforts based on research knowledge, and identifying issues that need more research and testing.”

In case you have not seen it, here is a link to report with their findings and recommendations:

Relatedly, in case you were not aware, in its final report, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommended to the President that the Department of Justice prepare an annual report on the state of American policing that would provide an updated overview of events and changes in law enforcement policies and practices, as well as their impact on police officers and the public. Here is a link to the inaugural report that reviews law enforcement activities and developments from January 2015 to December 2015, and offers research and other resources for more in-depth analysis:

IADLEST passed a resolution supporting POST agencies to receive full and complete criminal records, information, and criminal justice data sets maintained federally. NCIC Resolution Amended 10-15-16.docx

The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing released a 150-page report that can be viewed by clicking the following linkTaskForce_FinalReport.pdf

The 21st Century Presidents Task Force One-Year Progress Report can be viewed here: Progress Report of Presidents TF on 21st Century Policing cops-w0805-pub.pdf

21st Century Policing Forum of POST Directors Summary as of March 21, 2016:

From Warriors to Guardians: Recommitting American Police Culture to Democratic Ideals by Sue Rahr and Stephen K.  Rice. Taken from NIJ publication & Harvard Kennedy School, New Perspectives in Policing April 2015:  From Warriors to Guardians Recommitting American Police Culture to Democratic Ideals.pdf

IADLEST Executives Visit to the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC)

Terrorist Screening Meeting (Left to right: Terry Wyllie, External Training and Outreach Coordinator, TSC; John Novak, Deputy Director – Outreach, TSC; Bill Muldoon, President, International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards & Training (IADLEST); Mike Becar, Executive Director, CEO, IADLEST; Dr. Leo McArdle, Training Group, TSC; Terry Cahill, Assistant Deputy Director of Domestic Outreach, TSC)

On Tuesday, October 9th, Bill Muldoon, President, and Mike Becar, Executive Director, visited the Terrorist Screening Center for discussions and a tour with Executive Leadership. During their visit, they engaged in meaningful discussion on the TSC’s role and responsibilities on officer safety, counter-terrorism and the role of state, local, territorial and tribal law enforcement in national security.

The TSC was established as a result of Homeland Security Presidential Directive-6 (HSPD-6) in September 2003 and is responsible for managing the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), also known as the Terrorist Watch-list. The TSC, with a staff of nearly 500, provides 24/7 365-day coverage for law enforcement and intelligence community. Prior to September 11th, 12 separate and distinct databases existed which contained some form of terrorist identity information and did not leverage the capability and capacity of each other. HSPD-6 assigned the TSC with the responsibility to build and deploy an integrated approach to terrorist screening for the U.S.

During the meeting, TSC discussed with President Muldoon and Executive Director Becar the importance of greater collaboration and integration of TSC training for the 18,000+ law enforcement agencies in the U.S. TSC stressed that it was critical for officer safety to ensure that local law enforcement took full advantage of the TSDB and the capabilities that the TSC call center can provide. When working properly, the TSC Law Enforcement Partnership is a “force multiplier” in the fight against terrorism. Training and execution provides the opportunity to possibly save an officers life while protecting communities and strengthening our National Security.

Each week in the U.S., hundreds of known or suspected terrorists are stopped by state, local and tribal law enforcement for all sorts of reasons unrelated to terrorism. But only after a quick screening with the Terrorist Watch-list (a process similar to screening for wants and warrants) can individuals be verified as a positive match for potentially having terrorist ties.

In fact, three of the 9/11 hijackers—Mohammed Atta, Ziad Jarrah and Hani Hanjour—were stopped by state or local law enforcement for routine traffic violations in the days leading up to the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history. In those days, however, there was no central system to identify them as having an association with terrorism. Thankfully, that has all changed. Today, state and local law enforcement have a willing partner to help improve officer safety, strengthen national security and expand U.S. counter-terrorism efforts.

TSC Director Tim Healy states, “If the TSC [had been] operational prior to 9/11 and the process worked as it does today, it could have made that horrible day entirely different. Since the first day we stood up the TSC operations center, we have always pushed to create a seamless relationship between federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement.” Healy continues, “One call can make an enormous difference. The officer gets important information, the intelligence community gets important information and our communities and our country are safer. So a big part of what we do is work with law enforcement agencies to open this conversation and make the call. Hundreds of thousands of lives are on the line.”

One simple phone call to a specialist at TSC’s 24/7 operations center is all it takes to verify if it’s indeed a positive match. The process takes as little as five to 10 minutes for an average stop.

Once connected, a TSC operations specialist works through a series of standard questions with dispatchers so that officers can elicit enough information to make an identity determination.

After a positive match is made, the information flow begins, all to the benefit of enhanced national and homeland security.

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