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Tuesday, 11th September 2007

Fusion Centers: Key Terror Fighting Tool for Cops

State Fusion Center Processes and Procedures: Best Practices and Recommendations
Source: Manhattan Institute

America’s radically decentralized law enforcement system—there are more than 17,000 separate police departments in the United States—is both a strength and a weakness. It is a great strength because the police are better attuned to their local communities and are directly accountable to their concerns. But it is also a terrible weakness in the post–September 11 world, where information sharing is key, and the sheer number of agencies often inhibits information sharing.
...
The 9/11 murderers exploited law enforcement’s inability to harness the information systems that are commonly available today. Fusion centers are central to erasing that deficiency. If properly operated, fusion centers will enable law enforcement to harness information and intelligence to better identify, assess, and manage emerging threats to public safety.
...
In this report, the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Policing Terrorism (CPT) offers twelve recommendations for establishing new—or enhancing existing—fusion centers. We base these recommendations on a review of current literature, an assessment of existing fusion centers, and interviews with federal, state, and local leaders. Since the resources available to state and local governments are constrained, we have attempted to provide recommendations that we deem to be both necessary components of a well-functioning fusion center and resource-neutral.

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