Highway security filling the void
Russillo, Tracy S.
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As a society dependent upon our highways, protecting them from the destructive tactics of terrorists is critical. If successfully attacked and destroyed, these critical highway infrastructures could isolate a community, severely hamper the transportation of vital goods and services, and potentially kill motorists along the structure when the attack occurs. An explosive device detonated in heavy traffic during rush hour could cause deaths, significant injuries, and create a psychological impact reverberating around the entire country. Our open roadway system not only provides us with the freedoms our forefathers intended, but also provides terrorists the ability to travel the highways of this country without government intervention. Unfortunately, this unencumbered freedom of movement also lends itself to exploitation by terrorists. Threat assessments consistently reveal the vulnerability of our highways and their critical infrastructure to terrorist attacks. Yet, the highways remain underprotected. Law enforcement officers are the foot soldiers of the war on terror in the United States. It is a very small army with tremendous responsibility. Our public looks to the police to protect them against crime and criminals; terrorists are the new criminals and terrorism is the new crime. The strategies and tactics to make the public safe against terrorism on our highways are similar, and they are a natural extension of existing law enforcement highway safety strategies. No paradigm shift is necessary. This thesis proposes strategies designed to take law enforcement's concept of highway safety and expand this paradigm to mesh with the threat environment of modern-day terrorism.
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