The idea of legal evolution to a rule of law necessarily implies restraints upon the coercive power of the state. Whatever we might mean by coercive state power, surely the institution of the police embodies the essence of such power. Democratic policing has long been a guiding concern in studies of American policing; and it is a major goal of nations in transition to democracy, especially those in Eastern Europe.2 By those seeking change, democratic policing must be concerned with the rule of law as well as with crime and public order and terrorism. In this article, I intend to illustrate, using the New York City Police Department as an example, how a democratic police department has responded to terrorist threats following two major attacks to New York City's World Trade Center; and the stance it has taken to policing anti-war protest since the United States invasion of Iraq. Following the dreadful terrorist attack on New York City's World Trade Center on September 11, 2001,5 the New York City Police Department (NYPD) was required to address three issues beyond its ordinary anti-crime and law enforcement duties. The first was to prevent future terrorist attacks; the second was to be capable of instituting appropriate public health and safety measures in the event of a terrorist attack; the third was addressing anti-war protest, especially when the President and his Republican party, were scheduled to hold their Presidential election convention in New York City in 2004. These responsibilities: anti-terror prevention; maximizing public health and safety following an attack; and policing anti-war protest, were essentially add-ons to the day-to-day and more familiar police public safety responsibilities of the NYPD.
Skolnick, Jerome H.
"Democratic Policing Confronts Terror An Protest,"
Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce: Vol. 33
, Article 14.
Available at: https://surface.syr.edu/jilc/vol33/iss1/14