Thursday, September 24, 2009

Turf Battles

Have you heard about the alleged "turf battle" between the F.B.I. and local New York law enforcement officers during their ongoing investigation of a reported terrorist group? This is scary news! Don't you agree that, if the story is accurate, it is critical that the two agencies get together and work out their issues?
In my experience, unfortunately, law enforcement agency turf battles are quite common. "Turf battles" typically involve petty jealousies, personal squabbles, and lack of information sharing. Such squabbles are also common among law enforcement agencies on all levels. As a former Assistant D.A., I saw police chiefs who didn't get along with sheriffs in their jurisdictions. And as a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, at times, I saw the D.E.A. squabble with the F.B.I., the F.B.I. fussing with the A.T.F., and A.T.F. disagreeing with the D.E.A.
In turf battles, the general public is the ultimate loser. The public may view the law enforcement community as a "family." But trust me, while law enforcement may be like "family," at times, they are a disfunctional family!
But don't you agree that, especially as to terrorism, we cannot afford any turf battles. Hopefully, the heads of these agencies have already met and worked out any issues. And hopefully, by working together, they can more easily beat the bad guys!

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