STRATEGIC IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR EMPOWERING LOCAL PARTNERS TO PREVENT VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN THE UNITED STATES
- 23 pages
- December 2011
Law enforcement and government officials for decades have understood the critical importance of building relationships, based on trust, with the communities they serve. Partnerships are vital to address a range of challenges and must have as their foundation a genuine commitment on the part of law enforcement and government to address community needs and concerns, including protecting rights and public safety. In our efforts to counter violent extremism, we will rely on existing partnerships that communities have forged with Federal, State, and local government agencies. This reliance, however, must not change the nature or purpose of existing relationships. In many instances, our partnerships and related activities were not created for national security purposes but nonetheless have an indirect impact on countering violent extremism (CVE).
At the same time, this Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) also includes activities, some of them relatively new, that are designed specifically to counter violent extremism. Where this is the case, we have made it clear. It is important that both types of activities be supported and coordinated appropriately at the local level.
Current Activities and Efforts
The Federal Government has held a series of consultative meetings with communities, local government and law enforcement, civil society organizations, foundations, and the private sector to better understand how it can facilitate partnerships and collaboration. This leverages a key strength identified in the National Strategy for Empowering Local Partners: “The Federal Government, with its connections to diverse networks across the country, has a unique ability to draw together the constellation of previously unconnected efforts and programs to form a more cohesive enterprise against violent extremism.” Examples of this include the following:
- DHS Secretary Napolitano tasked her Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) to develop recommendations on how the Department can best support law enforcement and communities in their efforts to counter violent extremism. An HSAC CVE Working Group convened multiple meetings with local law enforcement, local elected officials, community leaders (including faith-based leaders), and academics. The working group released its recommendations in August 2010, highlighting the importance of: (1) research and analysis of violent extremism; (2) engagement with communities and leveraging existing partnerships to develop information-driven, community-based solutions to violent extremism and violent crime; and (3) community oriented policing practices that focus on building partnerships between law enforcement and communities.
- DHS and NCTC began raising awareness about violent extremism among private sector actors and foundations and connected them with community civic activists interested in developing programs to counter violent extremism. DHS is now working with a foundation to pilot resiliency workshops across the country that address all hazards, including violent extremism.
We also began exploring how to incorporate CVE as an element of programs that address broader public safety, violence prevention, and resilience issues. This has the advantage of leveraging preexisting initiatives and incorporates CVE in frameworks (such as safeguarding children) used by potential local partners who may otherwise not know how they fit into such efforts. For example, although many teachers, healthcare workers, and social service providers may not view themselves as potentially contributing to CVE efforts, they do recognize their responsibilities in preventing violence in general. CVE can be understood as a small component of this broader violence prevention effort. Departments and agencies will review existing public safety, violence prevention, and resilience programs to identify ones that can be expanded to include CVE as one among a number of potential lines of effort.
- As an example, the Federal Government helped support a community-led initiative to incorporate CVE into a broader program about Internet safety. The program addressed protecting children from online exploitation, building community resilience, and protecting youth from Internet radicalization to violence.
Future Activities and Efforts
Planned activities to expand support to local partners include the following:
- The Federal Government will help broker agreements on partnerships to counter violent extremism between communities and local government and law enforcement to help institutionalize this locally focused approach. (Lead: DHS)
- DHS and DOJ will work to increase support for local, community-led programs and initiatives to counter violent extremism, predominantly by identifying opportunities within existing appropriations for incorporating CVE as an eligible area of work for public safety, violence prevention, and community resilience grants. (Leads: DHS and DOJ)
- DHS is working to increase funding available to integrate CVE into existing community-oriented policing efforts through FY12 grants. (Lead: DHS)
- DHS is establishing an HSAC Faith-Based Community Information Sharing Working Group to determine how the Department can: (1) better share information with faith communities; and (2) support the development of faith-based community information sharing networks. (Lead: DHS)
- DHS is developing its Hometown Security webpage to include resources such as training guidance, workshop reports, and information on CVE for both the general public and law enforcement. (Lead: DHS)
- The Treasury will expand its community outreach regarding terrorism financing issues. (Lead: Treasury; Partners: State, DOJ, DHS, FBI, and the U.S. Agency for International Development)3
- Depending on local circumstances and in consultation with the FBI, U.S. Attorneys will coordinate, as appropriate, any efforts to expand connections and partnerships at the local level for CVE, supported by the National Task Force where needed. (Lead: DOJ; Partners: All)
- Departments and agencies will expand engagement with the business community by educating companies about the threat of violent extremism and by connecting them to community civic activists focused on developing CVE programs and initiatives. (Lead: DHS; Partner: NCTC)