As the 10-year mark since the attacks of September 11 approaches, the images I saw from my house across the Hudson River are still fresh in my mind. It was a defining moment for our country. The event took friends from us too soon, changed our ideas of safety, changed our understanding of the vulnerabilities in our systems, and had a profound impact on all of us, both as individuals and as a country. As we approach the 10-year commemorative, we pause to reflect the journey 10 years on.
For me and my colleagues on the Memex Solutions Team at SAS, the attacks and the findings of the 9/11 Report strengthened our resolve to aid in the protection of our country. As individuals, we sometimes feel that there is so much that needs to be done. But working toward common goals helps. After 9/11, we went about our work developing better intelligence analysis technology to assist with threat analysis and investigation. We helped law enforcement agencies develop data sharing initiatives, and we continue to work with fusion centers as they adopt best practices that allow more intelligence-led policing.
Technology and training are a big focus for us, but that is only part of the equation. Some of the lessons from 9/11 are that we need to change our willingness to share information among law enforcement agencies; we need to adopt more effective processes for intelligence analysis; and all of us in law enforcement need to get involved in new initiatives and standards that have arisen in response to 9/11.
The Nationwide SAR Initiative is a good example. There’s been a lot of progress, and the 10-year mark is a good time to take stock of our capabilities and our own willingness to embrace best practices.
While it is important to remember the men and women we lost on 9/11, it is also a good time to think about progress. We honor the memory of those who lost their lives by helping protect our nation as best we can.