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Fighting Terrorism in New York City

The 9/11 attacks sent a shockwave throughout the globe. The United States, the emblem of democracy had been successfully attacked with thousands of casualties falling victim to the acts of terrorists. The 9/11 attacks, were a sad moment and a wake-up call to law enforcement agencies in the United States. It was clear that that change was necessary and urgent. The New York Police Department, whose jurisdiction covered the Twin Towers buildings was made aware that the city which they protected was a favorite of terrorists around the world. Being the communications and financial sector of the United States with significant global impacts New York City was targeted by terrorists. Consequently, the New York Police Department endeavored to introduce changes to improve their capability in detecting, preventing, and intercepting terrorist activity in the city. Towards this end, the New York Police Department introduced organizational changes and modified its approach to information and intelligence gathering.

The NYPD made significant changes to its organizational setup and functionality. First and foremost, the New York States rehired Raymond Kelly an ex-cop to steer the counterterrorism division of the NYPD (CBS). Before this counterterrorism was largely left to federal organizations such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Intelligence. The State of New York realized that they were prime targets of terrorist activities and sought to install measures to shore up its capacity to detect and defend itself against terrorist activity. The NYPD commissioner engineered several organizational changes towards counterterrorism.

First, a counterterrorism faction was created within the NYPD. The counterterrorism faction is responsible for preventing and intervening in terrorist activities in New York City. This was unprecedented in the nation, where state law and enforcement agencies were largely left to deal with threats from within the nation. The NYPD, expanded its force to about 15,000 and a practical ratio of this number was dedicated to counterterrorism (CBS). Many of them were not uniformed officers and were tasked with collecting intelligence that would deter or prevent terrorist activities in the United States. The intelligence collection and analysis were conducted in globally situated operational centers. Furthermore, the NYPD posted officers at key information points globally. NYPD counterterrorism officers were stationed in Europe and other locations where they could investigate and/or intercept terrorist activities. Additionally, the NYPD initiated a move to include sports such as cricket as part of its program to prevent terrorism (CBS). Cricket which is popular in countries such as Pakistan and other Middle-Eastern nations where a significant number of terrorists originate from is an ideal way of preventing radicalization and curbing the development of terror cells.

The NYPD also sought to advance its technology aimed at preventing, detecting, and stopping terrorism. The NYPD acquired enhanced its surveillance systems. The new surveillance systems could detect nuclear threats and other terrorist threats. Furthermore, surveillance facilities were installed globally to detect things as seemingly mundane as wearing a red shirt which is used by some terrorists as a means of preventing terrorism (CBS).

The NYPD has made a significant effort to protect Americans. These efforts are impressive. As technology continues to advance the accuracy of surveillance technology will only improve. Additionally, the NYPD is dedicated to preventing terrorist activity in New York, and this is a source of comfort. However, law enforcement officers and New York citizens must maintain vigilance because a single blunder can cost many lives. Nonetheless, the NYPD’s efforts to protect New Yorkers from terrorist attacks are admirable.

Works Cited

CBS News. “Fighting terrorism in New York City.” YouTube, 2011,


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