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Baseline Capabilities for State and Major Urban Area Fusion Centers

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2008
70 pages

This supplement to the Fusion Center Guidelines identifies the baseline capabilities for fusion centers and the operational standards necessary to achieve each of those capabilities, with the goal of helping fusion centers to establish the necessary structures, processes, and tools to support the processing, analysis, and dissemination of information.


This document presents the baseline capabilities and operational standards for fusion centers to be able to establish the required structures, processes, and tools that will support the gathering, processing, analysis, and dissemination of information related to terrorism, homeland security, and law enforcement. This document fits into the National Strategy for Information Sharing (Strategy) as a key step to reaching one of the Strategy’s goals: to establish a national integrated network of state and major urban area fusion centers. The document notes that since resources vary from one center to another, it may take from one to five years to achieve all the baseline capabilities, and that some capabilities may not need to be housed or performed within a fusion center but may be provided by another center or entity. The baseline capabilities detailed in this document are divided into two main sections: fusion process capabilities, and management and administrative capabilities. The fusion process capabilities section is subdivided as follows: including planning and requirements development; information gathering/collection and recognition of indicators and warnings; processing and collation of information; intelligence analysis and production; intelligence/information dissemination; and reevaluation. The management and administrative capabilities section is subdivided as follows: management/governance; information privacy protections; security; personnel training; information technology/communications infrastructure, systems, equipment, facility, and physical infrastructure; and funding.