Enhancing homeland security efforts by building strong relationships between the Muslim community and local law enforcement
Jensen, Dennis L.
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Following the events of September 11, 2001, law enforcement agencies were struggling to gather the investigative information necessary from the Muslim community to assist in efforts to prevent future attacks. Building a strong relationship between the local police and the Muslim community is essential in defending America against acts of terrorism. Key to this relationship is trust between the groups and bridging the gap of cultural differences. This study sought to determine what factors associated with building relationships with established communities can be applied to the immigrant Muslim community to further public safety and homeland security needs. Specifically, the study examines the best practices used in an outreach effort in the African-American community in the City of Saint Paul and looks at how the application of those practices could produce results in the Muslim community. The research demonstrates that community policing is the cornerstone of community outreach, that individual relationships built by law enforcement representatives form the platform for outreach, and that the complexity of culture in immigrant communities requires law enforcement to go beyond the traditional community policing efforts to attain cultural competency. Finally, the study finds that the true best practice to prevent terrorism is to build trust with the community being served.
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