Until September 11, 2001, most Americans conceptualized terrorist attacks as something that happened occasionally in distant countries, but a series of orchestrated attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Arlington, VA, and the plane headed for Washington, DC, but crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, brought an abstract concept into sharp reality. We now believe that terrorism is an imminent threat to our families, our American institutions and ourselves. The events of 9/11 were also the deadliest for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed respectively. First responders have suffered devastating health impacts from 9/11 toxic debris including throat and neck cancers, lung disease, thyroid cancer, and blood cancers in the years since the attacks.
Domestically and internationally, a number of agencies were newly formed or strengthened in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, yet the world watched in horror a few short weeks ago as ISIS attacked Paris. Even though the attacks took place on French soil, they were strategically planned to include an international soccer game, where the president of France was in attendance, and the venue for an American rock band. I am sure many people would agree with me that while these attacks occurred on French soil, they were leveled at the citizens of the world. Terrorists and other criminals capitalize on not only the short-term violence they create, but also the long-term fear generated by their actions.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), other departments within the Federal government and state agencies throughout the United States are increasingly focused on securing the nation’s border, protecting our citizens from criminals and preventing terrorist attacks. COPsync, Inc. (Nasdaq: COYN), headquartered in Dallas, TX, which operates the nation’s largest law enforcement in-car information sharing and communication network and the COPsync911 threat alert service for schools, government buildings, hospitals and other potentially at-risk facilities, could play a substantial role in thwarting terrorism. Most people are surprised to learn that U.S. state and local law enforcement agencies typically have independent record-keeping and communication systems that are not linked in any way. This inability to have cross-jurisdictional communication for the approximately 18,000 police agencies in the United States could result in preventable officer deaths and injuries, and global criminals and terrorists moving undetected within the United States or across international borders. As the world has shifted into a global economy and schoolchildren can now work collaboratively and communicate across cultures and time zones, it is time for law enforcement and federal agencies to do the same.