FBI, TSA Hold Major Terrorism and Transportation Conference in New York
by Jim Kouri
Last week over 700 law enforcement personnel, intelligence professionals, and private sector officials attended the Terrorism and Transportation Conference convened in New York, New York, hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Homeland Security Department's Transportation Security Administration.
This four-day conference was held to bring together terrorism first responders, private industry security managers, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) experts. The event was the largest-ever sponsored by the FBI and TSA to jointly address terrorism and transportation.
Keynote speakers included FBI New York Division Assistant Director in Charge Mark Mershon, TSA Administrator Kip Hawley, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly, United States Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen, and The Port Authority of New York/New Jersey Police Superintendent Samuel J. Plumeri, Jr.
Invited panelists addressed prevention, preparedness, and response to terrorist acts involving buses, airplanes, subways, freight trains, shipping, and other transportation modes, with an emphasis on law enforcement coordination, cooperation, preparedness, and prevention.
Members from several federal, state, and local law enforcement departments and private industry partners participated in the conference. In addition, international law enforcement officials were in attendance from Spain, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
“Unfortunately, 9/11 changed the way the world thinks about their vulnerability aboard airliners. Tokyo, Madrid, and London further illustrated that the rails and buses were not immune from terrorist attack,” said Assistant Director Mershon.
“Our goal is to make certain we coordinate to the fullest extent possible with our law enforcement partners, including first responders and WMD experts. We want to ensure preparedness in combating the growing threat of transportation sector terrorism ,” he said.
“Counterterrorism today is a team activity. TSA's strategy is to start with intelligence; partner with law enforcement, airports, our international colleagues and industry partners, and the public; and use security measures that are flexible, widely deployable, mobile, and layered to cover our open transportation network. If the terrorists’ strength is that they have no deadlines, rules, or borders, ours is that this is our turf, there are a lot of us, and we have a lot of resources,” said TSA Administrator Kip Hawley.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.