August 30, 2011 Illinois State Police and the Statewide Terrorism Intelligence Center (STIC) have announced they are bringing the big dogs, that is, the canine units to aid law enforcement on the look out for suspicious vehicles and criminal activity crossing state lines over the Labor Day weekend.
Illinois State Police, STIC, and Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement, and the state’s Homeland Security agency will team up for Operation Fatal 4, which refers to the four driver behaviors associated with fatal traffic crashes: speeding; DUI; failure to wear a seat belt; and distracted driving.
Illinois State Police will be on alert for illegal narcotics crossing state lines. Canine units will help State Troopers sniff out narcotics during roadside safety checks over the Labor Day weekend. Radars will be used to monitor speeding on the roads and highways.
“We know that the Labor Day holiday weekend is traditionally a time for family travel, but criminals are also traveling on Illinois roadways and expressways trafficking drugs, US currency and illegal firearms,” said ISP Director Grau.
Some readers may be wondering; What does “Fatal 4” have to do with terrorism? All State Police, and all three levels of government officials would agree with the Director of the Illinois State Police, Hiram Grau who put it this way:
“Traffic enforcement goes hand in hand with preventing violence and Troopers statewide will be enforcing both to ensure Illinois roadways and citizens are safe,” Grau said.
After September 11, 2001, the United States adopted the “all-hazards” approach to disaster and emergency management. FEMA practiced an all-hazards approach since the 1990’s, long before the Department of Homeland Security existed. Under the approach, hazard is defined as all physical, technological or intentional hazards. Transportation hazards are any accident that occurs by air, land or sea. Terrorism is considered a civil conflict hazard, along with shootings, panic, riots and war.
The United States employed the all-hazards approach for several reasons. In the aftermath of 9/11, it was an attractive option due to its efficiency and availability. There was a sense of urgency by all Americans’ for government leaders to deveop a plan to protect us from another attack. Lawmakers needed something to convince anxious Americans that everything was under control. The all-hazards approach seemed easier and cheaper than reinventing the wheel.
The approach focuses on the common themes applicable to any disaster or emergency, such as warning systems and evacuation route, a family plan, etc. while incorporating the unique aspects of terrorism – like Anthrax. Critics call the plan a “one-size-fits-all approach that views a tornado or tsunami as the same.
Whether Americans agree or disagree with the all-hazards approach to disaster management, it is THE official approach employeed, and therefore directly applies to every person in the United States.