Identifying and locating countless numbers of individuals in this country with known or suspected ties to terrorist organizations or who have demonstrated a propensity for engaging in such activity and continuously tracking their whereabouts is undoubtedly a herculean task that will swiftly overwhelm resource-strapped federal agencies. As initiatives to ramp up these and other pressing homeland security responsibilities are rolled out in the coming weeks and months, many law enforcement mandates that formerly took precedence will be put aside and suffer as a result of shifting priorities and resources.

Admittedly, this issue is well outside my wheelhouse, but it’s worth noting that a corps of well-trained, dedicated, and still very capable retired federal law enforcement officers exists which could be brought back on short notice as re-employed annuitants to temporarily bolster the ranks of federal agencies whose ability to detect and prevent worst-case scenarios involving acts of terrorism on our soil is being severely crippled by resource limitations.

While this proposition is complex, and likely unprecedented, the nature of the current terror threat, as evidenced by the recent attack in California, requires that all such considerations be thoughtfully discussed and explored with a sense of urgency. Time is of the essence, as they say. Preparing for such a surge in federal law enforcement resources is an exercise that must be diligently attended to by agency leaders and is one our government cannot afford to ignore.

Fully acknowledging the gravity and potential scope of the terror threat we are facing is essential. Doing so furthers our ability to formulate an effective strategy to combat these evil forces and also guards against the insidious creep and influence of another major enemy-denial.