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Strategy: Terrorism Awareness and Prevention Train-The-Trainer

Strategy Submitted by Don Numer The Terrorism Awareness and Prevention program is a crime prevention initiative created by the . . .

Strategy Submitted by Don Numer

The Terrorism Awareness and Prevention program is a crime prevention initiative created by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and taught by specially trained law enforcement officers to educate citizens about the realities and myths of terrorists and terrorism.

More than 1000 law enforcement officers and selected civilian trainers in Pennsylvania - including municipal police, county sheriffs/deputies and state police - have been trained to present this one-hour program to community groups, volunteer and professional organizations, and government workers across Pennsylvania.

The program has three goals:

  • to help citizens understand the threat to our society,
  • their part in protecting their community,
  • and commonsense measures they can take to enhance their own security.

The intent of this program is to help citizens understand who terrorists are, what they do, why they do it and how they do it. Terrorism Awareness and Prevention teaches citizens how to be alert, what to look for and how to report it properly to law enforcement officers.

Equally important, the program stresses that suspicious activity is not necessarily when someone looks, speaks, acts, believes, or lives differently than we do, rather it is activity which is unusual or out of place and that appears to be leading to criminal activity. Terrorism is really crime and terrorists are just criminals who commit crimes for a very specific reason - to force some sort of change.

The Train-The-Trainer program is a three hour course of instruction to prepare law enforcement and government trainers to present the one hour seminar on terrorism awareness to the general public. Each trainer is provided with a kit that includes an instruction manual, video of the presentation with voice-over narration (the program has three presentation option, viewgraph, video, or Power Point), and a CD ROM containing several versions (lengths) of the Power Point presentation and extensive resources allowing instructors the opportunity to expand their own knowledge of terrorism and tailor the presentation to their target audience. Instructors also have a series of handout options available to them.


Terrorism Awareness and Prevention has also been embraced by many state agencies. Department of Transportation has required all field personnel to go through the training, Department of Welfare is considering it as training initiative for their employees, and PEMA has included this training in their CERT program. We have trainers with Health, Education, Revenue, State Police, Human Relations Commission, Capital Police, Corrections, Attorney General's Office, and both Fish and Game Commissions.

A number of US Attorneys' offices have requested copies, and the Community Oriented Policing (COPs) program is also reviewing it for possible use. We have provided copies to the US Army Military Intelligence and Police Schools and US Navy Special Warfare Program. Additionally, a number of other states have requested permission to use this program as a model for their states and we have sent out more than 50 kits to criminal justice agencies outside of PA.

We continue to provide instructor training at our crime prevention academies and upon request at various locations around Pennsylvania. We are developing a web-based training version so that individuals can have access to this type of awareness training outside of the group-based format. This will be accessible from our website at We are also in the final stages of producing a "media kit" to help our instructors promote this training in their communities. This media kit includes posters, brochures, and a sample press release.

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