The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have partnered to offer more training opportunities to law enforcement officers who protect our highways.
In March, TSA signed an agreement to fund a portion of FLETC’s Commercial Vehicle Counterterrorism Training Program (CVCTP). Their contribution will fund eight training programs through April 2010, and the agency has the opportunity to fund 18 additional classes in 2010 and 2011. This agreement is a renewal of the two agencies relationship on this program; CVCTP was developed in 2005 by FLETC at the request of and commissioned by TSA.
The CVCTP is designed to train law enforcement officers responsible for the enforcement of commercial vehicles traveling on the Nation’s highways on how large commercial vehicles can be used in committing an act of terrorism, either as a weapon of mass destruction or as a delivery system for transporting materials to further a terrorist cause. The CVCTP is unique in its design, recognizing that security of our highways is accomplished by a cooperative effort of federal, state, and local officers, and it is designed specifically to take advantage of the commercial vehicle enforcement officer’s close oversight of the truck and bus community.
According to FLETC’s Counterterrorism Division Chief Dennis Keith, “The CVCTP adds capability to the Department of Homeland Security’s intermodal transportation security regimen. By extending the awareness and prevention of terrorist acts to our state and local law enforcement agencies, we are helping close gaps and raise the risk of detection for anyone seeking to use overland transportation to facilitate an attack.”
William H. Arrington, General Manager of TSA’s highway and Motor Carrier Division, said, “It’s important to ensure that local law enforcement officials have the information and the skills they need to fight terrorism, respond to terrorist attacks, and to identify, gather and report relevant information in a safe, effective and professional manner. They are on the front line to engage terrorists in the communities where they live and plan their operations. Local and state law enforcement officers know their communities best and can be an extraordinary resource in the war on terrorism if they are given the necessary skills and information.”
The program is primarily designed for law enforcement officers who perform safety inspections and daily roadside interactions with commercial trucks and buses. Officers who are in daily contact with commercial vehicles are taught to focus on awareness, inspection, behavior identification, more in-depth interviewing techniques, fraudulent document recognition, and response to suspicions. Training locations for this year’s TSA-sponsored training sessions have not yet been confirmed.
In developing the original commercial vehicle counter-terrorism training program with FLETC, TSA was joined by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).
“This program gives our state and local law enforcement officers the tools to become force multipliers in Homeland Security goals to enhance security for all modes of transportation and shield the Nation’s critical infrastructure from attacks,” said FLETC Director Connie Patrick.