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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:35 PM
Original message
A City’s Police Force Now Doubts Terror Focus
Source: NY Times

-----

Like most of the country’s more than 18,000 local law enforcement agencies, the Providence Police Department went to war against terror after Sept. 11, embracing a fundamental shift in its national security role. Police officers everywhere had been shaken by disclosures that the police in Oklahoma, Florida, Maryland and Virginia had stopped four of the Sept. 11 hijackers at various times for traffic violations, but had detected nothing amiss.

Over the years since, police officials in Providence joined with state and federal authorities in new information-sharing projects, met with local Muslim leaders and urged their officers to be alert for anything suspicious. Flush with federal domestic-security grants, the police department acquired millions of dollars’ worth of hardware and enrolled officers in training courses to detect and respond to a terrorist attack.

But much has changed. Now, police officials here express doubts about whether the imperative to protect domestic security has blinded federal authorities to other priorities. The department is battling homicides, robberies and gang shootings that the police in a number of cities say are as serious a threat as terrorism.

The Providence police chief, Col. Dean M. Esserman, said the federal government seemed unable to balance antiterror efforts and crime fighting.

“Our nation, that I love, is like a great giant that can deal with a problem when it focuses on it,” said Colonel Esserman, who became chief in 2003 when he was hired by Mayor David N. Cicilline. “But it seems like that giant of a nation is like a Cyclops, with but one eye, that can focus only on one problem at a time.”



Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/us/24terror.html?_r=1...
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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Millions of wasted dollars fighting shadows............
Just about every agency got these mega dollar command posts, biological detection and radiological stuff. I guess evey little backwater was a terrorist target. Its finally clicking that the administration shifted Federal Responsibility onto agencies that should be doing a police mission. They finally figured out the waste but in the aftermath many of the same jurisdictional turf stuff still exists. Are we any safer, the answer is maybe, but were more aware.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Its like killing mice with a Laser Guided Bomb
Ass hats

They couldn't figure out how to pour piss out of a boot

If the instructions were written on the heel.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. It's even better than that.
The Feds have dropped just about everything to round up short brown people who mow lawns and pick fruit. They're all tied up and are not attending to organized crime or drug trafficking or the rest of our basic menu.

Terrorism, my @ss. They must be getting kickbacks from the prison industry becaue they sure aren't busting "terrorists".
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. Around here (Green Bay) they Kill, Dress and Bone cattle
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Tempest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. They weren't complaining when they were feeding at the trough
Were they?
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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. I hope they start rethinking the militarism of police work in general.
Law enforcement overall has become more militaristic to more violent consequences. Where did I read about an ethos of "act on your gut" (sometimes with the consequence of "shoot to kill") starting to supersede "keep a cool head"?
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HowHasItComeToThis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. BINGO FOR YOU, REMEMBER THE MEDIA CREATED THIS INSANE ASYLUM
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tchunter Donating Member (236 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. the wire touched on this
the wire (greatest show ever) showed the absurdity of the east baltimore police receiving counter terrorism training. the cops were receiving training about non existent terrorist threats (one officer remarked that if terrorists attacked east baltimore, nobody would notice) meanwhile the gangs are still a threat and drug abuse and the crimes that come with it are an epidemic.
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 07:06 AM
Response to Original message
7. The focus on "terror" since 9/11 has been absurd.
It's as if America lost its collective mind on that day and has never really gotten it back. We seem to be a combination of scaredy-cat little schoolgirls and Rambo-like killers, with nothing in between, you know, where rational thought used to be found.

If America were a person, that person would have long ago been committed to a home for the criminally insane.
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
8. Odds of dying in a natural disaster: 1 in 3,357
Which is pretty slim. Odds of dying in a terrorist attack: 1 in 9.3 million.

Many, many more people die of medical malpractice, a sedentary lifestyle, and almost every other cause of death, but nobody mentions this at all.

http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/05/07/13/the-six-mos...
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MetaTrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
9. Meanwhile, Homeland Security is busy raiding kids making modifications to their videogame consoles
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
11. Street crime has ALWAYS been a bigger threat to our way of life than
"Islamofascists". Just not as big of a cash cow for the Bush Crime Family
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