DHS Creates New Fusion Centers, Taking Control of Local Police
by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
Thursday, 14 November 2013
As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) doles out billions of dollars to convince local police departments to surrender control to the federal agency, a recent report indicates that intelligence gathered at precincts-cum-surveillance-centers will be shared among all levels of law enforcement.
An article published by Fierce Homeland Security on November 4 reports:
The phenomenon of fusion centers sharing intelligence and skills with each other — not just with the federal government — is a new and underappreciated aspect of the centers, panelists at a Homeland Security Policy Institute event said.
Fusion centers mainly apply national intelligence to local contexts and gather information locally that they can share with federal agencies. But in recent years, a great deal of “horizontal sharing” has occurred, where fusion centers work closely with each other, said Ross Ashley, the executive director of National Fusion Center Association.
“We’ll find an expert in Washington state on international human trafficking over international ferry systems. Well, I don’t need that expert everywhere. What I need is the ability to reach out to that expert if I’m in West Virginia,” he said at the event, held Oct. 23 in Washington, D.C.
That meeting, entitled “State and Local Fusion Centers: Key Challenges for the Next Decade,” featured three panelists: John Cohen, principal deputy under secretary for intelligence and analysis, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Thomas Kirk, director, West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center; and Ross Ashley, executive director, National Fusion Center Association. The keynote address was delivered by Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.