April 27, 2012
Commander Joan T. McNamara, who heads the LAPD Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau, has devised a method which is considered so inexpensive, easily implemented, and innovative that federal authorities are considering making it a national model for local law enforcement intelligence gathering.
In the years following the 9/11 attacks, federal authorities have been asking the 17,000 U.S. local law enforcement agencies to man the front lines in domestic counterterrorism by gathering information about crimes and other suspicious activities that may indicate an impending attack.
For various reasons, the idea has not been implemented as hoped. The local agencies have gathered information in haphazard ways, authorities say, or in many cases not at all. Most police offficers are trained to gather evidence to prove crimes, not to cultivate , gather, and analyze intelligence to prevent a terrorist strike.