In 2016, when the Panama Canal was expanded toallow deeper and wider lanes for larger ships to pass through, Baltimore andother Atlantic coastal ports gained access to much larger cargo-carriers thatship from the Far East, which had been limited to the Pacific Coast in the past.

Being one of only four Eastern U.S. ports with a 50-foot shipping channel and a50-foot container berth, Baltimore has been able to accommodate some of thelargest container ships in the world.

On July 19, 2016, the Ever Lambent, acargo-carrier from Taiwan, was the first supersized container ship to reachBaltimore through the Panama Canal. In thefirst quarter of 2017, the Port handled a record-setting 2.56 million tons ofgeneral cargo, up from 2.44 million tons handled during the first three monthsof 2016.

In January 2017, the Port of Baltimore handled a record-setting 37,694loaded containers.In addition to a constantly growing port,Baltimore now also has Cruise vessels, which in 2016, 94 cruises carrying211,124 passengers departed from Baltimore, which ranked sixth in East Coastports, eleventh in U.S. ports, and twentieth in world ports. The Port ofBaltimore’s cruise industry supports over 500 jobs and brings in over $90million to Maryland’s economy.

In addition to the homeport cruises, the Porthandled 10 port calls. In October 2016, the Port handled a record 16 cruisearrivals. (Maryland State Archives, 2017)Scenario: As Chief of Police for Baltimore CityPolice Department, it has come to my attention that there is a Top-Secretintelligence report that a terrorist organization based in the Middle East isplanning to plant a dirty bomb in the inner harbor of my city in the next 48hours. The inner harbor of our city is a major tourist attraction, a majorshipping port and home to many international shipping companies, trade zones,luxury cruises and military and federal government facilities. Currently I donot have the required access to see the report, but if this report is true, thereis very little time to try to disseminate (spread something, especially information, widely) this information to the city and all partneragencies. A classification level must be assigned toinformation when that information is determined to be classified. Aclassification level indicates the relative importance of classifiedinformation to national security and thereby determines the specific securityrequirements applicable to that information. Clearly defined classificationlevels are essential to an effective classification system.

(Quist, 1993) I do not have the requiredclearance to view any material and any attempt to view it would be illegal. Though,it is worth noting that security clearance and security classifications are notthe same. Security classifications are placed on files to protect sources,investigations and an individual’s rights to privacy, whereas securityclearance is the status that is granted to view classified information.

By not currentlypossessing the report, I must consider the importance of the reliability,viability and validity of the source from where this information is from inorder to our Departments main goal of maintaining public safety. In the bestinterest of everyone in my city, I contact the local law enforcement agencies: BaltimoreCity Police Department, Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA), and the FBI toinform them of the information that I have received till now. While I stillrealize, reading and accessing the report is illegal, but that does not meanthat I cannot play a role in keeping our community safe. By partnering state, local and federaldepartments, I can ensure a strong fight for our nation’s domestic defense againstterrorism.  Information sharing is goingto be pertinent to this investigation, and should be utilized from each agencythroughout the investigation process. Law enforcement information sharing hasexpanded significantly across all levels of government, improving lawenforcement’s ability to detect, prevent, and respond to acts of terrorism (ICE,2018).

After 9/11, to advance community policing andprevent crime and disorder, the Department of Homeland Security funneledbillions of dollars towards the protection of U.S. cities through the UrbanAreas Security Initiative (UASI) Grant Program. The UASI Program providesfinancial assistance to address the unique multi-disciplinary planning,operations, equipment, training, and exercise needs of high-threat, high-densityurban areas. The 60 highest risk urban areas were eligible for funding.

(Bureau, 2011) This grant program providesfunding to governments and authorities to improve the nation’s readiness inpreventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigatingterrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. The grants reflectthe Department’s focus on implementation of an all-of-nation, whole-communityapproach to the building, sustainment, and delivery of those core capabilitiesessential to achieving a secure and resilient nation. (DHS, 2017)This will help law enforcement agencies create a collection plan. This planis a formally defined approach to describe what information is needed, and howto acquire it. A benefit to having a collection plan is it can reduce the riskof an intelligence gap, which can be any unanswered question about the possiblenational security threat we are facing. Since I have established that the MTA policeand the FBI are going to be contacted, I still must consider other factors. Imust ask myself, if the report is true, can I share it with? And can I evenshare it at all with anyone for security reasons? What factors could get in myway of sharing this report with the media? Since I have jurisdiction, officialpower to make legal decisions, in Baltimore City, I feel that it is important totake this threat very seriously due to the security concern in this busy harbor.

I believe the report to be true with a valid source, and due to the securityfactor of the report, I am not able to pass this report onto any media sources.The media will portray terrorism in a way that causes panic and chaos in thepublic, which in turn could cause more chaos through the city in areas thatwould not be affected. In working through this I must also take intoconsideration the difference between information and intelligence beforeinforming the public of anything. Intelligence is information that has beenanalyzed and refined so that it is useful to policymakers in making decisions –specifically, decisions about potential threats to our national security.  Information on the other hand is raw andunevaluated, which can leave room for it to be misleading and false. (MassiveMedia, 2016) With my clearance issue that forces me to step aside from thespecifics of the report, when it comes down to my city, I have plenty of workto do to ensure that my community is kept safe. The value of intelligence andeven information is critical for matters such as this, which includescontacting other local and federal agencies who can access the report and helpto confirm that it is true.

The best type of information is sourced, validated,analyzed, exploited, and synthesized into consumable intelligence (Maculaitis,2016). At the national level, intelligence helps shape policies and actionsacross economic, foreign relations, defense, security, and criminal justiceissues.


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