Fusion centers are a collective effort of the federal agencies and the state in partnership with the local government to share information, expertise and resources in the detection, apprehension, prevention and response to terrorist and criminal activities making use of an all hazards, all crimes approach. A fusion center also intensifies the awareness of looming threats and boosts the mission of law enforcement through a multidisciplinary approach.
The centers have been established with the purpose of analyzing surveillance and information from government entities, private organizations and law enforcement. They have also been designated with the primary role of scrutinizing reports of suspicious activities and sharing information on state and local terrorism with the federal agencies via the Department of Homeland Security Information Sharing Environment across the nation. These centers acquire information from various sources including local, state and federal entities ensuring relevant and timely information is given to the appropriate stakeholders responsible for law enforcement in that geographical areas.
While fusion centers were originally meant as tools for fighting terrorism, they later acquired an all hazard, all crime mission becoming repositories of all round criminal information. This was helpful in the sense that agencies in the local law enforcement did not feel endangered by terrorism activities, nor did they contemplate that their community would be a source of terrorism and related activities.
Fusion centers have brought about the concept of predictive policing that is not essentially reactive and focuses on the resolution of crimes, but rather collects substantial evidence of crimes in the verge of being committed. This move is commendable since the government does not have to deal with the impacts of terrorism and or pursuit of the culprits involved after the attack has happened and caused much harm. Instead, the attack is anticipated and prevented prior to its occurrence.
ACLU of Massachusetts. What's the Matter with Fusion Centers? February 19 2011. http://www.privacysos.org/fusioncentershttp://www.privacysos.org/fusioncenters. 14 June 2014.
Bailey, Gerald M. Florida Department of Law Enforcement. 28 May 2013. http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/content/florida-fusion-center/menu/fusion-home.aspx. 14 June 2014.