Ten years ago when I went through SWAT School, the instructor Kevin Davis (you should recognize the name...) said, "Advanced SWAT is just the basics done well." How true, on so many levels. Solid skill sets pay huge dividends. In the mid-1990s then President Clinton unwittingly killed us when he cut the intelligence gathering budgets of our collection assets like the CIA, NSA and others. Instead of having the means to develop sources of information through Human Intelligence (HUMINT), the political appointees of Clinton in-charge of our intelligence world cut the budget and devoted funds to technological gathering activities. In short, spies did not have the money to handle informants, because those funds were now devoted to maintaining and upgrading satellites. These political activities were extrapolated and thrust into reality when OBL declared war on us in 1998, then 9/11 occurred and the CIA did not have effective HUMINT capabilities to initially hunt OBL and satellites do not see inside of caves. Today, street cops still lack the training, guidance and political support to accomplish the anti-terror mission as an essential component for the War on Terror (yes, I still call it what it is. See video below showing Lt. Gen. Boykin, Ret., USA).
You have to delve into the underworld if that is where your enemy chooses to hide. To kill the snake you need to get under that rock. When estimates range around 1/10 of one-percent of all criminals account for nearly 98% of all violent criminal acts (including terrorists) what would happen if all 600,000 police officers in the U.S. knew not only how to handle sources of intelligence, but aggressively sought after them? Is it plausible to think that we could eradicate the vast majority of serious crimes? Given the economic challenges, terrorist WMD threats we face today, police agencies must change operations and really devote themselves to becoming intelligence driven. Every dollar spent today must be accounted for with effectiveness. Cops are being laid off in record numbers. When, generally speaking, nearly 4 out of every 8 hours on a patrol shift are statistically found to be uncommitted, then we have a serious problem.
Two decades of police-work has taught me that changes in law enforcement are painfully slow. It took almost one hundred years for the policing profession to adopt a Code of Ethics that was finally instituted in 1963 when the idea of it first surfaced when President Lincoln was in office. The problem is we do not have a century to change how we do business. I fear the future will be determined within the next ten years. The U.S. Congress is less optimistic, having estimated that the next WMD event will happen within the next three to five years.