by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Kyle Dabruzzi
September 11, 2008
The 9/11 attacks sounded an alarm in fire departments across the country: suddenly, they would need to decide whether they had a role to play in preparing for, and preventing, terrorist attacks. A growing number of fire departments concluded they did, and are now leveraging their existing capabilities to enhance the effectiveness of local counterterrorism operations. State and local political leaders should encourage this trend; rather than relinquishing counterterrorism to local law enforcement and the federal government, they should seek to integrate their fire departments, which have unique capabilities for safeguarding the homeland, into overall security planning. Such integration should improve public safety across the board.