The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement in Addressing International Terrorism and Other Transnational Crimes

Michael Shively, Abt Associates
Sarah Kuck, Abt Associates Inc.
Dana Hunt, Abt Associates Inc.
Marvene O'Rourke, National Institute of Justice
Andrew Drillock, Abt Associates Inc.
Jazmin Kellis, Abt Associates Inc.

While transnational crime falls most directly under Federal and international jurisdiction, state and local law enforcement often play a critical role and bear a significant burden in its prevention, interdiction, and prosecution. Cooperation among law enforcement agencies across all levels of government is frequently cited as a key to effectively preventing and prosecuting international crime and is a prominent component of Homeland Security strateg, yet the extent to which such coordination exists in practice has not yet been sytematically assessed nationally. Our presentation describes a national survey of state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies examining the level of transnational crime activity within their jurisdiction. The major types of transnational crime studied include various forms of illicit trafficking (e.g., humans, drugs, stolen goods, endangered species), computer based crimes (e.g., transfer of stolen intellectual property, money laundering), and crimes associated with international terrorism. We examine the local resources devoted to transnational crime, perceptions of the severity of the local problem, resource needs, and the extent of cooperation among local, state, federal, and foreign law enforcement organizations, and discuss the implications of our findings for law enforcement.

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Updated 05/20/2006