The 9/11 Commission Report concluded that the failure of the intelligence community (IC) to share information between agencies and levels of government lead to significant gaps in situational awareness. The terrorists exploited those gaps to plan and execute their attacks. Over the years since 9/11, in an effort to improve the nationâ€™s ability to share information and intelligence, more than 70 fusion centers have been created at the local, regional, and state levels. These efforts have not been without considerable cost and concerns, such as privacy. The recession of 2008â€“09 and lack of major terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11 resulted in local and state leaders having to rethink their ability to provide ongoing investments in these centers. Your local leadership has requested your assistance in assessing the situation.
Your assignment is to write a strategy memo of 850â€“1,100 words that addresses the major research questions listed below. You should utilize the course materials, Web resources, and the course articles provided as well as conduct your own research, including interviews if possible. Your final document should include an overview of the fusion center nearest to your place of residence. If you are unable to research your local fusion center, you should explore the information-sharing environment between agencies at your local level (again, local is defined at your discretion).
Your conclusion should outline your recommendations for your fusion center based upon the resources provided, your research, and the answers to the questions below.
- Address the following in 850â€“1,100 words:
- What local jurisdiction did you choose for this assignment?
- Does your local jurisdiction have or participate in a regional (e.g., major urban area or state-level) fusion center? If so, in what way? If not, what platforms (e.g., meetings, conference calls, or software/hardware solutions) are utilized by local HS practitioners to achieve information and intelligence sharing?
- What is the mission scope of your local fusion center (e.g., terrorism, all crimes, or all hazards)? How does the fusion center achieve that mission scope? How did it select their scope?
- Operationally, who is the lead agency for the fusion center? What other agencies provide direct support (e.g., funding and full- and part-time staff)? What disciplines are present? Is it operational (staffed) at all times?
- What are the funding sources for the fusion center?
- How are non-law enforcement agencies provided with information and intelligence?
- What types of products are produced, and to whom are they distributed?
- How are information and intelligence entered into the fusion center? How does the public enter information? How is the public made aware of its ability to report suspicious activity?
- Is the private sector engaged in any of the fusion center activities?
- What is the role of the fusion center during the response phase of an incident? What role would the fusion center play in support of a jurisdictionâ€™s response operations following a terrorist attack and during a natural disaster?
- Are the investments made by the communities involved in supporting and managing the fusion center justified by your communityâ€™s risk/threat profile?
- Should the sustainment of the fusion center be a priority for local elected officials? If your community does not have its own fusion center but participates in or supports a regional or state fusion center, does it need its own?
- Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.
- Compile your answers to the above questions into a final Word document and submit it to your instructor.