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Homeland Security and Policing

Write a response to the following prompt:

  • What are the six main officer vulnerability issues when dealing with homeland security/confronting terrorists? Why are these issues a problem in terms of safety of the officer?
  • List the initial steps that should be taken when responding to a terrorist or major event and how can COPPS assist in these situations either before, during, or after the event?

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s), and properly cite any references.

Police officers confronting terrorists in the United States now find themselves vulnerable in six types of situations (Garrett, 2002):

1. Traffic stops: Law enforcement lacks prior knowledge of the individual being stopped; the officer may be isolated and the potential terrorist may be in a heightened state of suspicion or anger as a result of the stop.

  2. Residence visits: Officers are on the extremists’ home turf, putting them at a disadvantage; the visit may be routine, but the extremist may not view it as such, and the home may be armed and fortified.

  3. Rallies/marches: The risk to police usually comes not from the group holding the event, but from protestors, often anarchists who hate the police and believe that the best way to confront the demonstrators is through physical violence.

  4. Confrontations/standoffs: All such incidents can arise from the three previous situations.

  5. Revenge and retaliation: A terrorist may be motivated by personal benefit or revenge, such as one who attempts to blow up an Internal Revenue Service office because he was audited.

  6. Incident responses: These can take many forms, ranging from activities of terrorists to acts of nature. (Peak, Gaines, & Glensor, 2010. p.395).


Peak, K., Gaines, L. & Glensor, R. (2010). Police supervision and management in an era of community policing (3rd ed.) Upper saddle, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 9780135154663

When confronting or dealing with homeland security and confronting terrorists, police officers face with vulnerability issues that then becomes a problem in terms of safety of the officers themselves. The officers have continually fought about these vulnerabilities, which have continued to affect the way the way they perform their duties effectively.

The first vulnerability concerns the human rights; it is a difficulty in implementing counter terrorist measures since it may affect civil liberties and individual privacy. Officers may face legal charges when found to have infringed some human rights in the process of offering security. In some cases of terrorism, the officers uses preemptive neutralization which include capturing, killing or disabling suspected terrorists before amounting attack which becomes a breach of the rights.

The officers are vulnerable to leaking information to suspects when interrogating them. This information may increase their vulnerability and used by suspect to enhance the crimes. The other vulnerability comes because of management in cases of terrorism and counter terrorism. In such cases, officers responding to a crime from different department are prone to misunderstanding and poor control (Bennett, 2010). The officers are vulnerable to fatalities as they may face attack from the criminals. They also face physiological effects due to exposure to actions that might be beyond their comprehensions. All this vulnerabilities may result to affecting the officers’ productiveness of the officers.

The first step is to identify potential emergency scenario that will help enable to determine the requirements. The second step is stabilization of the incident to minimize potential damage. The other step is protecting the victims as much as possible. COPPS has the responsibility to offer information on potential threats, information on terrorist and help in providing evidence to criminate the suspects (Spalek, 2013).


Bennett, P. (2010). Risk communication and public health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Spalek, B. (2013). Terror crime prevention with communities.

Peak, K., Gaines, L. & Glensor, R. (2010).
Police supervision and management in an era of community policing (3rd ed.) Upper saddle, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 9780135154663

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