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In 2016, when the Panama Canal was expanded to
allow deeper and wider lanes for larger ships to pass through, Baltimore and
other Atlantic coastal ports gained access to much larger cargo-carriers that
ship 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 a
50-foot container berth, Baltimore has been able to accommodate some of the
largest container ships in the world. On July 19, 2016, the Ever Lambent, a
cargo-carrier from Taiwan, was the first supersized container ship to reach
Baltimore through the Panama Canal. In the
first quarter of 2017, the Port handled a record-setting 2.56 million tons of
general cargo, up from 2.44 million tons handled during the first three months
of 2016. In January 2017, the Port of Baltimore handled a record-setting 37,694
loaded containers.

In addition to a constantly growing port,
Baltimore now also has Cruise vessels, which in 2016, 94 cruises carrying
211,124 passengers departed from Baltimore, which ranked sixth in East Coast
ports, eleventh in U.S. ports, and twentieth in world ports. The Port of
Baltimore’s cruise industry supports over 500 jobs and brings in over $90
million to Maryland’s economy. In addition to the homeport cruises, the Port
handled 10 port calls. In October 2016, the Port handled a record 16 cruise
arrivals. (Maryland State Archives, 2017)

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Scenario: As Chief of Police for Baltimore City
Police Department, it has come to my attention that there is a Top-Secret
intelligence report that a terrorist organization based in the Middle East is
planning to plant a dirty bomb in the inner harbor of my city in the next 48
hours. The inner harbor of our city is a major tourist attraction, a major
shipping port and home to many international shipping companies, trade zones,
luxury cruises and military and federal government facilities. Currently I do
not have the required access to see the report, but if this report is true, there
is very little time to try to disseminate (spread something, especially information, widely) this information to the city and all partner
agencies.

A classification level must be assigned to
information when that information is determined to be classified. A
classification level indicates the relative importance of classified
information to national security and thereby determines the specific security
requirements applicable to that information. Clearly defined classification
levels are essential to an effective classification system. (Quist, 1993) I do not have the required
clearance 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 not
the same. Security classifications are placed on files to protect sources,
investigations and an individual’s rights to privacy, whereas security
clearance is the status that is granted to view classified information. By not currently
possessing the report, I must consider the importance of the reliability,
viability and validity of the source from where this information is from in
order to our Departments main goal of maintaining public safety. In the best
interest of everyone in my city, I contact the local law enforcement agencies: Baltimore
City Police Department, Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA), and the FBI to
inform them of the information that I have received till now. While I still
realize, reading and accessing the report is illegal, but that does not mean
that I cannot play a role in keeping our community safe. By partnering state, local and federal
departments, I can ensure a strong fight for our nation’s domestic defense against
terrorism.  Information sharing is going
to be pertinent to this investigation, and should be utilized from each agency
throughout the investigation process. Law enforcement information sharing has
expanded significantly across all levels of government, improving law
enforcement’s ability to detect, prevent, and respond to acts of terrorism (ICE,
2018).

After 9/11, to advance community policing and
prevent crime and disorder, the Department of Homeland Security funneled
billions of dollars towards the protection of U.S. cities through the Urban
Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Grant Program. The UASI Program provides
financial assistance to address the unique multi-disciplinary planning,
operations, equipment, training, and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density
urban areas. The 60 highest risk urban areas were eligible for funding. (Bureau, 2011) This grant program provides
funding to governments and authorities to improve the nation’s readiness in
preventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating
terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. The grants reflect
the Department’s focus on implementation of an all-of-nation, whole-community
approach to the building, sustainment, and delivery of those core capabilities
essential to achieving a secure and resilient nation. (DHS, 2017)
This will help law enforcement agencies create a collection plan. This plan
is a formally defined approach to describe what information is needed, and how
to acquire it. A benefit to having a collection plan is it can reduce the risk
of an intelligence gap, which can be any unanswered question about the possible
national security threat we are facing.

 

Since I have established that the MTA police
and the FBI are going to be contacted, I still must consider other factors. I
must ask myself, if the report is true, can I share it with? And can I even
share it at all with anyone for security reasons? What factors could get in my
way of sharing this report with the media? Since I have jurisdiction, official
power to make legal decisions, in Baltimore City, I feel that it is important to
take 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 security
factor 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 the
public, which in turn could cause more chaos through the city in areas that
would not be affected. In working through this I must also take into
consideration the difference between information and intelligence before
informing the public of anything. Intelligence is information that has been
analyzed 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 and
unevaluated, which can leave room for it to be misleading and false. (Massive
Media, 2016) With my clearance issue that forces me to step aside from the
specifics of the report, when it comes down to my city, I have plenty of work
to do to ensure that my community is kept safe. The value of intelligence and
even information is critical for matters such as this, which includes
contacting other local and federal agencies who can access the report and help
to 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 actions
across economic, foreign relations, defense, security, and criminal justice
issues.

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