Catalog of Holdings

Study Report

Study Number: SJ-095-001-1-1-USA-ICPSR-1992

Subject Area: Anomic Behavior

Bibliographic Citation: Domestic terrorism: assessment of state and local preparedness in the United States, 1992.  [machine-readable data file] / Riley, Kevin Jack  [principal investigator(s)] / Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research  [distributor].

Originating Archive Number: 6566

Date Accessioned: 1/20/1997

Number of Files Received: 16

Comments: This CD-ROM [ICPSR PCD96003] contains recently released new data collections from the ICPSR. Beginning in 1996, ICPSR started periodic production and distribution to Official Representatives of CD-ROMs containing copies of data collections that have been recently acquired and released. Collections, or parts thereof, that are either too large or problematic for the CD-ROM media may not be included. Each collection included on this CD-ROM resides in its own subdirectory. In addition to the collection subdirectories, there are two other subdirectories used to organize information files on this and other Periodic Release CD-ROMs: \INFO and \INDEXES.

Access Status: Access restricted to U.W. Madison campus

Date Ordered: 1/20/1997

Documentation: Machine-readable; typically includes codebook and/or SAS, SPSS data definition statements.

Abstract: This project sought to analyze states' and municipalities' terrorism preparedness as a means of providing law enforcement with information about the prevention and control of terrorist activities in the United States. To accomplish this objective, a national survey of state and local law enforcement agencies was conducted to assess how law enforcement agencies below the federal level perceive the threat of terrorism in the United States and to identify potentially promising anti- and counter-terrorism programs currently used by these jurisdictions. For the purposes of this survey, the researchers used the legal definition of terrorism as provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is ''the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment of either, to further political or social objectives.'' However, incidents reported by state or local law enforcement agencies as potential terrorist incidents often are reclassified as ordinary crimes by the FBI if the FBI investigation does not reveal evidence that more than one crime was intended to be committed or that a network of individuals had prepared to carry out additional acts. Since these reported potential terrorist incidents may provide important early warnings that an organized terrorism effort is emerging, the researchers broadened the official definition to include suspected incidents and state and local officials' perceptions of crime due to terrorism. Three distinct jurisdictions with overlapping responsibilities for terrorism preparedness were surveyed in this study: (1) state law enforcement agencies, in most cases the state police, (2) organizations with emergency preparedness responsibilities and statewide authority but with limited powers of law enforcement, and (3) local law enforcement agencies, such as municipal police and sheriff departments. Similar questions were asked for all three jurisdiction groups. Variables pertaining to the organization include questions about contingency plans, guidelines, and special police training for dealing with threats of terrorism, the amount and types of information and resources exchanged among various agencies, and whether the agency had a special terrorism unit and, if so, its duties. Variables dealing with threat assessment include whether the agency had identified right-wing, left-wing, international, ethnic/emigre, or special-issue terrorist groups within their jurisdiction and how many incidents were attributed to each group. Additional variables provide information on whether the agency was involved in investigating any terrorist incidents and the type of support received from other agencies for these investigations. The risk assessment section of the survey sought information on whether the agency had conducted a risk assessment and what potential terrorist targets were present in their jurisdiction. Questions in the threat environment section cover the respondent's assessment of the impact of the Persian Gulf War, the agency's sources of information pertaining to terrorism, the likelihood of terrorist attacks on various major installations nationally, and the likelihood of a major attack in their jurisdiction. Administrative variables include the number of sworn officers or professional staff, number of support staff, department's budget for the current fiscal year, whether the agency received federal funds, and what percentage of the federal funds were used for anti-terrorism efforts.

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