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Fusion Centers: New York State Intelligence Strategy Unifies Law Enforcement

NCJ Number
THE POLICE CHIEF Volume: 75 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2008 Pages: 34,36,38,40,41,43,44,46
Bart R. Johnson; Shelagh Dorn
Date Published
February 2008
8 pages
This article describes the functions of intelligence fusion centers in general and the operation of New York State's Intelligence Fusion Center (NYSIC) in particular.
Fusion centers benefit the law enforcement community by providing agencies with resources, including organized intelligence support. They can assist law enforcement with intelligence-led policing. Focusing attention on systematically and routinely gathering and sharing information statewide reduces crime and produces safer communities. In addition, fusion centers assist jurisdictions by facilitating global information sharing. State fusion centers across the United States maximize local knowledge of potential terrorist suspects, vulnerabilities, and trends, and they communicate this information to the appropriate Federal partners. Creating the NYSIC was the law enforcement community's response to the absence of a shared information and intelligence strategy throughout New York State following the 9/11 attacks. The NYSIC, working in cooperation with the New York State Office of Homeland Security and the Division of Criminal Justice Services, is a network of intelligence specialists that supplies terrorism and intelligence services to the entire State law enforcement community. It provides law enforcement personnel 24-hour access to State, Federal, and private information databases. Officers who suspect terrorist links can both confirm their suspicions and contribute information regarding suspicious activities. In addition, the NYSIC compiles and disseminates information and advance warnings to law enforcement agencies statewide regarding possible terrorist and criminal incidents. The NYSIC has created uniform intelligence collection standards, setting clear criteria for reporting information to the State fusion center. It is in the process of developing intelligence collection requirements in the areas of terrorism, gangs, narcotics, guns, and money laundering.