The nation’s police forces need better specialized training and technology to deal with the bioterrorism threat, says Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton. The Police Executive Research Forum, which Bratton also heads, has issued a guide advising local law enforcement how to handle the threat. The publication includes 46 recommendations in key areas, including how to detect a biological attack, notifying the proper first responders, managing health care demands and maintaining public communication.
The report resulted from a gathering of experts funded by the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). COPS director Carl Peed noted that “public support, whether it is for gathering information on potential threats, allowing mass vaccinations or medical treatment, or supporting quarantines, may well mean the difference between chaos and an effective response.” The bioterrorism paper is available at www.policeforum.org or www.cops.usdoj.gov.