August 25, 2017 Posted by Daryl Johnson in Media Interviews

WASHINGTON, [DC]--As Charlottesville, Va., struggles to recover from last weekend’s deadly violence and authorities warn of increased threats from domestic extremists, the Justice Department is quietly shutting down a program that trains officers on combating terrorism. The State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training program, which has served more than 142,000 law enforcement officers in every state in the country, has run out of funding. Its last day is Sept. 30. “It makes absolutely no sense,” said Mike Sena, president of the National Fusion Center Association, which represents a network of 79 centers across the country designed to help law enforcement agencies collect and share terrorism-related information. “Eliminating programs that are critical to preparing our people in the field to identify threats before they manifest and cause harm to our public is an egregious error.” Congress rejected the funding again in 2016 and 2017. The Trump administration did not request any funding for fiscal year 2018, which starts Oct. 1. Several law enforcement sources said those who inquire about the training are told that the program is being folded into the VALOR Officer Safety Initiative, which is designed to prevent violence against officers and promote officer safety. But those are two distinct programs. “This other training program is geared toward tactical training, like how to protect officers from a police ambush,” said Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst with the Department of Homeland Security. “It doesn’t teach them how to identify the terrorists and their beliefs.” While the Charlottesville attack has been in the headlines for days, other acts of domestic terrorism have received little attention outside their locales. View More>>

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