A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Policing Terrorism


Policing Terrorism

Police Foundation publishes START essay

August 24, 2012Emily Bonta

The Police Foundation recently published START Director Gary LaFree's essay "Policing Terrorism," which discusses the trends in terrorism over the years and how police forces can better address terrorist threats. LaFree emphasizes the importance of community in preventing and responding to terrorist attacks. He compares the connection between communities and crime-resilience to the connection between communities and terrorism-resilience. LaFree touches upon the reactive vs. proactive approaches to terrorism both pre- and post-9/11.

He notes the much more proactive nature of police post-9/11. He draws upon research detailing how many terrorist plots were foiled in contrast to how many were carried out during both the pre- and post-9/11 periods.

According to this research, 29 attacks were foiled from 1990-2000 as compared to 71 from 2001-2010. LaFree's essay appears as part of the Police Foundation's "Ideas in American Policing" guest lecture series. This series invites leading criminologists across the country to provide insight and analysis on a particular policing-related subject of interest to policymakers, practitioners and scholars. The Police Foundation was founded in 1970 as an extension of the Ford Foundation and conducts research on policing tactics and offers training and technical assistance for practitioners.

To read LaFree's essay in full, click here.

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