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1Fusion Centers in the United States—Past and PresentJasmine HoltColumbia Southern UniversityIntroduction to TerrorismProfessor Michael B. Simmons
2Fusion Center in the United States—Past and PresentFollowing the 9/11 attacks, the need to develop a response to terrorist threats became of paramount importance to effectively share information and intelligence across all government agencies. In 2002, fusion centers were launched in New York City under the direction of Raymond Kelly and, with the help of the federal government which established an effective and efficient mechanism for sharing information and intelligence between government entities[ CITATION Wat02 \l 1033 ]. The Department of Homeland Security describes a fusion center as state-owned and operated centers that serve as focal points in states and major urban areas for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information between State,Local, Tribal and Territorial (SLTT), federal and private sector partners. [ CITATION Fus19 \l 1033 ]. The goal of the fusion center was to create a mechanism where law enforcement, public safety, and private partners could work in collaboration to improve the ability to safeguard the United States and prevent terrorist activity. As mentioned above, fusion centers emerged in 2002. The state and local centers were created to combat the lack of a “large scale, domestic counterterrorism programs formulated to synchronize local, state, and federal efforts” [ CITATION Div14 \l 1033 ]. The number of fusion centers grew dramatically from only nine in 2002 to seventy-eight by 2014. The center's purpose is to share anti-terrorism threats among all entities across state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies. However, their scope has expanded beyond just a counterterrorism mission, and now covers “all crimes and all hazards” [CITATION Dav10 \l 1033 ]. Although the fusion centers were created independently and differ from one another state to state their purposelargely remains, similar “to receive, analyze, gather, and share information about threats.” The information they seek today has expanded beyond just criminal intelligence but now includes
3private and public sector data. The collaboration now extends beyond law enforcement agencies and includes other government entities like the military and select members of the private sector.Fusion Centers and the Critical Operation CapabilitiesStrengthening the ability of the fusion centers to execute the four Critical Operation Capabilities (COCS) was essential to building an integrated National Network of Fusion Centers capable of sharing information with the federal government and state and local entities because of the evolving threat environment we live in today. During time-sensitive and emerging threats, fusion centers need to be able to share any information and intelligence to the federal government and SLTT partners seemingly and effectively to initiate a response promptly. During
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Test, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Law enforcement agency, fusion centers