ARLINGTON, Va. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today launched a campaign to ensure that state and local law enforcement officers throughout the U.S. are trained to detect potential terrorist-related activities in their communities and on their roadways.
TSA has commissioned the Counterterrorism Division of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), located in Glynco, Ga., to create a training program that will help state, local and municipal police officers to identify potential terrorist-related planning activities the officers may encounter in the course of their duties. The pilot training program, which will take place today through April 14, will place a special focus on commercial vehicles. The officers will be trained in spotting suspicious driver behavior, identifying fraudulent driver’s licenses and counterfeit commercial vehicle documents, and search techniques to locate suspected weapons of mass destruction.
“With this important and bold new program, TSA and the FLETC will assist law enforcement officers nationwide to train others in their communities to identify suspicious – and possibly terrorist-related – behavior,” said William Arrington, Acting General Manager for TSA’s Highway and Motor Carrier division. “Our best assets in securing the homeland are people on the ground, in our towns and cities.”
The FLETC, a component of the Department of Homeland Security, currently conducts training for federal law enforcement officers and agents from more than 80 agencies. TSA has joined with the Center to create a program which combines state, local and municipal law enforcement officers’ expertise with the FLETC’s counterterrorism knowledge to meet the needs and practices of roadside enforcement officers across the nation.
With the support of TSA funding, the FLETC will combine existing counterterrorism training instruction with roadside-specific methodologies that will then be delivered this year to as many as 90 state, local and municipal enforcement officers across the country. Those 90 will then be prepared to return to their communities to serve as trainers for other officers within their home agency or in nearby communities. Employing a “train-the-trainer” approach will allow the TSA/FLETC training program to reach enforcement agencies at the federal, state and local levels quickly and effectively. As more officers are trained, TSA and the FLETC will work to ensure that the course of instruction remains current.