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Federal law enforcement and national security agencies assume the main role of gathering fresh intelligence from various sources, particularly human and technical both locally and abroad. Furthermore, these agencies are tasked with the responsibility of prevention of terrorist attacks and the investigation of such attacks every time they occur. The department of justice mainly deals with prosecution of the individuals who are either involved in the conspiracy or actual attack. There are several state statutes that cover terrorist crimes but the federal government is only party authorized and permitted to own resources designed to perform intelligence activities and complex inquiries and prosecutions pertaining international terrorist activities (Cole & Smith, 2006).
The state and the local government also play a vital role in anti terrorist matters. These includes addressing emergency response by engaging the police and medical personnel, identifying critical target facilities, supplying regional task forces, acquiring manpower to regional task forces, obtaining equipment and communications technology in favor of primary responder application, and planning and executing long term projected medical support. Local authorities are also obligated to control urgent facility damage and to acquire other essential resources so as to bring the pressing situation under control (Cole & Smith, 2006).
Response to the September 2011 World Trade Centre Attack
The first New York Police Department Emergency Service Unit reached immediately on the sight four minutes subsequent to the crash that transpired in World Trade Center. Four teams of approximately five to six Emergency Service Unit workers administered first aid on the injured people who were in the north tower stairways while two of the Emergency Service Unit teams headed to the Southern tower. More police arrived on the scene to support the effort as machine guns and surplus handguns supplemented medical and rescue equipment (McPhee & O’Shaughnessy, 2001).
Members of the fire department of New York, approximated at five hundred, arrived on the scene just at approximately the same time as the Emergency Service Unit. They sprang into action immediately by beginning to evacuate people out of the building through the stairwell. Their efforts were corroborated by close to two hundred Port Authority police officers (McPhee & O’Shaughnessy, 2001). Most of these police officers were already in the building as the Port Authority had offices within the World Trade Centre. The department’s commissioner was in full support of the Fire Department of New York (Schneider, 2011).
Most public officials and agencies worked hand in hand to coordinate evacuation and security efforts while others, either by design or by chance worked in a lonesome manner.
The federal and state involvement came in at noon on September eleventh when a lot of support emanated from the New York Governor’s office. The governor contacted the White House to secure the city’s airspace. While activating the state’s emergency Operations Center, immediately the attacks occurred. He then put the National Guard observant and announced a state disaster emergency hence the implementation of the state’s disaster preparedness plan began, which gave state agencies license to fully assist all relief and evacuation efforts in New York City (Schneider, 2011).
In light of this, the statewide elections that were being held were also stopped by the governor. The governor joined the mayor in the first of several press conferences in which the mayor conveyed his thoughts and all vital information with tranquility and composure even though he was evidently shaken. The mayor acted as the major spokesperson for the city and in doing so, he reassured the public of the city’s safety. He managed to put forth important logistical information for instance, the number of injured and missing people, details of the World Trade Center rescue effort, blood donation information, hospital traffic, transportation issues, and school closures. Daily briefings were meted out by organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency which lay a great emphasis on FEMA’s desire to provide support and assistance to the city and the state for the response phase and long term recovery (Schneider, 2011).
Analysis of the Response
The government exercised great skill and intensity in response to the emergency. Sending of a train by PATH officials to facilitate evacuation was a brilliant idea. The decision of the local schools to evacuate and to ensure that all children were met by adults at the end of the day while the rest of the city’s schools were in session was intense thinking. Leadership was clearly shown in these actions (Schneider, 2011).
Emergency planning formed the fabric of New York City and helped in reducing the impact of the attack. The mayor exercised leadership skills since he recognized that the modern city has systems that had several shortcomings such as being obsolete. He therefore developed an organizational capacity for emergency response with training, planning, and communication forming a major part of the operation. Intergovernmental coordination was also well executed (Schneider, 2011).
To ensure bonding, an early morning coordination meeting was an ingenious method to make sure that communication and feedback was made into a routine. Face to face communication was very important putting into consideration that the current era is one riddled with e-mail and cell phones. Face to Face communication is a vital element of a well organized organization. There have been complaints that field communication failures led to delayed evacuation and the demise of hundreds of firefighters. The most important lesson to be picked from this state of affairs is that, emergency workers require in their possession state of the art communication equipment. This disaster also portrayed that in spite of the hurdles that most primary methods of communication presented; the back-up methods were effective as the emergency response personnel were at the scene relying on information from the mass media (Schneider, 2011).
Pertaining to the major lesson learnt, this study depicts how emergency response planning is important and can lead to saving of many lives. In addition, emergency response institutions, procedures and resources should be retained and well maintained despite of their imminent threat. Additionally, communication response must be made more vibrant since cellular and wired emergency communication systems minimally have two levels of back up to minimize communication failure during emergencies (Schneider, 2011).
The Way Forward
The state and local officials normally demand respect, equality, and performance from the federal agencies. On the other hand, they should be aware that it is a give and take situation hence; they should be able to reciprocate as well. The State and local police officers should therefore be committed to hard work, supplementary training, willpower, and a rooted commitment to their responsibilities. The agencies should be willing to collaborate and work together as a team. A lonesome walk could only lead to failure and it would not solve anything (Cole & Smith, 2006).
At the moment, it is mandatory for politicians and lobbyists to absolutely refrain from obtaining political or economic advantage due to combating terrorism. The bureaucracy should not be accustomed to justifying extreme delays by departments when executing fairly simple and reasonable measures that combat terrorism. Furthermore, with regards to law enforcement, the law enforcement agencies as well as intelligence organizations have to stop territory wars, trivial personality disagreements, or the huge tasks and the unquenchable thirst that berates them in order to gain public acknowledgement. Hence, the September 11 attacks was an eye opener for the government and the government agencies to prevent future terrorist attacks against the Unites States by tightening security airports and national borders and introducing antiterror initiatives.