11: Countering Terrorism & Ensuring Domestic Preparedness
The availability of weapons of mass destruction - biological, chemical, and
radiological - has increased the potential for terrorist incidents in the United States. By
delegation of authority from the Attorney General, OJP is helping communities prepare for
mass casualty incidents. OJP's Office of State and Local Domestic Preparedness Support
(OSLDPS), established in June 1998, provides equipment and training to state and local
governments for first responders to terrorist incidents. OSLDPS works closely with the
National Domestic Preparedness Office led by the FBI, and with other federal and state
agencies, to assess the needs of communities and assist them in preparing to respond to
attacks. Other OJP components also play a role in domestic preparedness. BJA sponsors
training for state and local law enforcement officers and prosecutors, NIJ supports the
development of counterterrorism technology and equipment, and OVC provides resources
for U.S. citizens who are victims of terrorism, at home and abroad.
- The State Domestic Preparedness Equipment Program funds equipment to help
fire departments, law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services,
hazardous materials response units, and other emergency response agencies in all
50 states prepare to respond to in incidents of domestic terrorism. Funding for this
program is awarded to a state agency designated by the Governor, which will, in
turn, subgrant funds to local first responders. Funds are allocated in accordance
with a required statewide needs assessment. The contact person in each state is
available through OJP's Website.
- Funds from BJA's Byrne Formula Grant Program and Local Law Enforcement
Block Grant (LLEBG) Program can be used to support counterterrorism
initiatives, to procure law enforcement equipment, and support multijurisdictional
task forces. See Chapter 2 for more information on the Byrne program and
Chapter 9 for more information on the LLEBG program.
Training and Technical Assistance Opportunities
- The Center for Domestic Preparedness at Fort McClellan, Alabama (CDP) offers
training courses to first responders from across the United States in responding to
incidents of domestic terrorism, especially those involving chemical agents and
other toxic substances. Also at Fort McClellan, the Public Health Service's Nobel
Hospital Training Center offers training to the medical community on responding
to terrorism. For more information on training at the Center for Domestic
Preparedness, visit www.ojp.usdoj.gov/odp/training.htm.
- The National Domestic Preparedness Consortium provides expertise and training
to state and local emergency management officials. The members of the
Consortium are the National Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center at
the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, the National Center for Bio-Medical Research and Training at Louisiana State University, the National
Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center at Texas A&M, and the
National Exercise, Test, and Training Center, Nevada Test Site.
- The Emergency Response to Terrorism: Basic Concepts Course is available for on-site delivery to interested fire service and emergency medical services agencies. A
limited number of slots may also be available for law enforcement personnel. This
program is composed of a train-the-trainer course and a self-study terrorism
awareness course for first responders. Training under this program is available
through Community Research Associates, Nashville, Tennessee at 615/399-9908.
Training for firefighters is also available through the National Fire Academy, in
cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration and FEMA.
- OSLDPS provides jurisdictions technical training in handling equipment purchased
under the OSLDPS equipment grant programs. This training is available upon
request either through on-site visits, long distance learning, or by hosting
responders at training facilities around the country, including the Equipment
Training Center at the Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas. For more information about
equipment training, see the OSLDPS Website at
- OSLDPS staff and contractors are available to provide technical assistance to help
state and local officials assess risks, develop incident response and consequence
management plans, train local personnel, and apply for funding. For more
information, visit www.ojp.usdoj.gov/odp/ta.htm.
- BJA sponsors anti-terrorism training for state and local law enforcement officials
and prosecutors. The training is designed to build a better understanding of
domestic terrorism and the organizations and individuals who commit such acts.
For more information, call the BJA Clearinghouse at 1-800/688-4252.
- The Department of Justice has established a National Domestic Preparedness
Office (NDPO) to coordinate counterterrorism and domestic preparedness efforts
across all federal agencies. Participating agencies include the National Security
Council, the Department of Defense, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the
Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency,
and the Department of Energy.
- Through a special fund provided for in the 1996 Antiterrorism Act, OVC provides
funding, assistance, and compensation to victims of terrorism and mass violence,
including Americans victims of terrorism abroad. OVC assists in identifying and
coordinating available resources, supports crisis response services in the aftermath
of mass violence events, provides updates and briefings to victims and victims'
families, and provides emergency funding for funeral costs, travel, mental health
counseling, and medical bills. For more information, call the OVC Response
Center at 1-800/627-6872.
The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) serves as OJP's
clearinghouse for information and publications on criminal and juvenile justice related
topics, including law enforcement and public safety. By calling NCJRS toll-free at 1-800/688-4252, you can speak with an information specialist who can conduct
individualized research and provide you with copies of OJP publications. NCJRS also has
a homepage on the World Wide Web at www.ncjrs.org. The site contains the full text of
most OJP publications in a searchable format, as well as links to other relevant sites.
For more information, call OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at
202/307-0703 or the Department of Justice Response Center at 1-800/421-6770.
Back to Table of Contents