Other legislative attempts that have been supported by the majority of industry groups include a bill introduced by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), which has stalled due to partisan differences and amendments.
The Department of Homeland Security has funded programs ranging from assisting with the purchase of night goggles for local law enforcement to helping with police overtime and additional personnel. The department offers grants to states and communities to reduce the threat of terrorism. However, until such grants are available for community-based policing for the chemical industry, producers and local government should engage in cooperative efforts to accomplish this goal. Training law enforcement and granting access to previously off-limits areas are the first steps.
Ken Michaelis suggested, "To successfully implement such an idea, it would take many of us agreeing on the concept and supporting local governments to make it feasible. Local law enforcement has my utmost respect, and I believe they are best equipped to bring armed, trained, impartial, preventative and timely emergency response to the people of their communities by becoming partners with industry in protecting our neighborhoods."
Dick Zunkel is a frequent contributing writer and technical editor for ST&D.