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From: email@example.com (Mr Opine Away)
Subject: Re: Police 'infuriated' over FBI program
Date: 11 Aug 2002 19:12:44 -0700
NNTP-Posting-Date: 12 Aug 2002 02:12:44 GMT
Get this: Maybe the FBI can't even trust the FBI!!!!!!?????!@!!!!
Otis Willie wrote in message news: Police 'infuriated' over FBI program
> (EXCERPT) Fri Aug 2, 9:20 AM ET
> Kevin Johnson USA TODAY
> WASHINGTON -- A new FBI ( news - web sites) program designed to
> provide local police with intelligence reports on potential terrorism
> is sputtering because many police officials believe the application
> process is too long and intrusive. They also say the reports aren't
> that valuable.
> Of 1,000 police executives whom U.S. authorities identified as
> candidates for clearance to the secret reports, only 600 have applied
> since the program began in January, FBI officials say. About 320
> police officials have been granted access so far.
> The FBI created the program in response to local police officials'
> complaints that U.S. authorities were not telling them enough about
> potential threats.
> For some police officials, the boiling point came last fall, when the
> FBI issued a series of non-specific terrorist alerts that left cities
> wondering how to respond. Police said that federal authorities'
> traditional reluctance to share information was hindering their
> efforts to prevent terrorism.
> When the FBI announced that it would give police unprecedented access
> to some classified reports, the bureau expected a flood of requests.
> But Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research
> Forum, a law enforcement think tank, says his police members are put
> off by the program's demands. He says police officials are
> ''infuriated'' about having to undergo background checks of up to six
> months to gain access to FBI reports.
> ''Most of these people have been chiefs for a long time with
> established records in law enforcement,'' Wexler says. ''Having to
> wait for clearance is unbelievable. The country is at war. We should
> be sharing information right away.''
> William Berger, president of the International Association of Chiefs
> of Police, says that ''many chiefs got so fed up that they never
> followed through with their applications. Some who have applied have
> given up (waiting for approval) out of frustration.''
> Berger, police chief in North Miami Beach, Fla., says that when he
> expressed interest in a clearance, the FBI sent him a 12-page
> application asking for an extensive family profile, including credit
> references. ''I didn't have time for it, and I don't know many chiefs
> who do, especially when the information we're getting in return is
> minimal at best.''
> Berger says the information offered by U.S. authorities often is not
> fully developed or specific enough to indicate how police should
> react. ''I know the bureau is trying to improve things, but we're no
> further along then we were before.''
> Assistant FBI Director Louis Quijas acknowledges that background
> checks can be ''difficult, cumbersome and intimidating.'' Quijas, a
> former police chief of High Point, N.C., who was hired in April to
> improve the FBI's communications with local police, says the bureau is
> considering whether to grant lower-level security clearances that
> would not require lengthy background checks.
> National security policies require extensive personal investigations
> of those applying for access to classified documents, regardless of
> their status in law enforcement. Lower-level clearance, Quijas says,
> would give police basic information about possible threats but not
> details on sources of the information.
> ''A lot of the information necessary to keep cities and communities
> safe does not require a top-secret clearance,'' Quijas says. ''There
> are other ways to get information into the hands of chiefs and
> sheriffs, and we're working to do that.''
> -- DEA Watch
> The Voice of the Drug Enforcement Agent
> American Victims of Substance Abuse Memorial
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