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State and Local Fusion Centers

Many states and larger cities have created state and local “fusion centers” to share information and intelligence within their jurisdictions as well as with the Federal government.  According to Robert Riegle, Director of the State and Local Program Office within the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, “Fusion centers are the core means by which we [DHS] promote Federal, State, local and Tribal information sharing.  The success of the national network of fusion centers is crucial to the Department and to the states in achieving greater situational awareness toward the threats we face.”  Riegle made these remarks during a House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing last year. 

According to the DHS website, the Department, through the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, provides personnel with operational and intelligence skills to the fusion centers.  This support is tailored to the unique needs of the locality and serves to:

  • help the classified and unclassified information flow;
  • provide expertise;
  • coordinate with local law enforcement and other agencies; and
  • provide local awareness and access.

Information is transmitted and shared through the Homeland Security Data Network (HSDN), which allows the Federal government to move information and intelligence to the states at the Secret level.  Through HSDN, fusion center staff can access the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), a classified portal of the most current terrorism-related information.

The Department has deployed intelligence officers to state fusion centers in 24 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.  The Department has also deployed support to fusion centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Washington DC.