I had the opportunity to work on several counterterrorism-related research projects including one on radicalization into violent extremism. At the end of my internship, I gave a presentation on the various paths to radicalization to 50+ members of the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Division. In addition to conducting research, I was invited to attend law enforcement sensitive briefings and joined members of the Counterterrorism Bureau’s Critical Response Command on their deployments. The NYPD afforded me many unforgettable opportunities, which included participation in the NYPD’s two day active shooter training course, a helicopter tour of the City with the Aviation Unit, and a ballistics demonstration from the Bomb Squad.
Why did you choose this particular internship?
The Counterterrorism Bureau has effectively guarded New York City against a major attack since its inception 15 years ago and I wanted a glimpse into the inner workings of how it has successfully defended against threats to the city. I found the NYPD’s implementation of proactive measures to protect against the threat of terrorism very interesting and offered a unique perspective into the cutting edge of local prevention methodology. Lastly, I sought out an internship that allowed me to apply critical thinking skills learned in the classroom to real life scenarios. During my time with the NYPD this summer, extremists have successfully carried out several attacks around the world. As a result, I was able to provide analysis on the tactics used in these attacks and how they affect NYC as they unfolded in real time. After my internship, I have a deep respect for the dedicated law enforcement professionals I met at the NYPD and feel safer walking the streets of NYC.
How does your internship sponsor or agency contribute to the mission of national security?
The NYPD is responsible for securing a city of 8.5 million people. On any given day, commuters nearly double the daytime population. The city is home to the United Nations and is one of the world’s greatest centers for finance, culture, art and tourism, making NYC a high priority target for terrorist organizations worldwide. TTAG assesses global terrorist trends and determines potential credible threats to NYC. The Department then strategically decides where to deploy its assets, thereby, directly influencing national security. In addition, the NYPD contributes to national security policy by establishing various recommendations and toolkits for risk mitigation. For example, through the creation of its Active Shooter book, the NYPD provides recommendations to other law enforcement agencies and private security personnel on how to effectively respond to dynamic active shooter incidents.
What are two interesting things about the company you worked for that the average person doesn’t know?
The first thing many people may not realize is that TTAG analysts are responsible for covering threat streams from various regions around the world. Most people might initially think that they focus solely on domestic threats and homegrown violent extremists. Because the threat of terrorism is a global phenomenon, analysts assess tactics employed by terrorists around the world to give better guidance to NYPD officers and supervisors looking to keep New York City secure. Another interesting fact people may not know is that the NYPD is the largest police force in the country, with over 34,000 uniformed officers and 17,000 civilian employees.