DRAFT - A Quick Brief for P/CRCL Officers on the National Network of Fusion Centers
|Mission & Scope||PCRCL Officers and Policies||Relationship to Federal Government||Relationship to State and Local||Directory||Read More|
Currently there are seventy-eight (78) state and major urban area fusion centers, designated by the governor of their state; owned and operated by state and local entities. What is the difference between primary centers and recognized centers on this list?
Mission and Scope
Fusion centers serve as focal points within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information between the federal government and state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners. State and local host agencies vary by jurisdiction and, as a result in addition to their anti-terrorism mission, many fusion centers take an "all-crimes" and/or an "all-hazards" approach to intelligence analysis and information sharing. Regardless of approach, privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections are integral to the operations of fusion centers.
P/CRCL Policies and Officers at Fusion Centers
"In order to participate in the ISE, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 … requires Federal departments and agencies as well as non-Federal partners (emphasis added) to implement protections "at least as comprehensive as" the ISE Privacy Guidelines (9pp | 130kb | PDF).
The cornerstone of these protections at fusion centers is each center's privacy/civil liberties policy. Each center has a policy that has been found to be at least as comprehensive as the ISE Privacy Guidelines (9pp | 130kb | PDF).
Each fusion center also has designated a Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties (P/CRCL) Officer, who oversees the implementation of the center's privacy/civil liberties policy. More on the Role of the P/CRCL Officer.
Relationship of the Fusion Center Network to the Federal Government
"The Federal Government does not dictate where fusion centers should be built and maintained, nor does it designate fusion centers. However, the Federal Government has a shared responsibility with state and local governments to promote the establishment of a national network of fusion centers to facilitate effective information sharing. Since 2001, the Federal Government has provided significant grant funding, training, technical assistance, exercise support, federal personnel, and access to federal information and networks to support fusion centers."
Central to this relationship is the ISE Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Protection Framework.
Federal support of particular interest to P/CRCL officers includes:
- Various P/CRCL guidance from the federal entities in the ISE;
- P/CRCL technical assistance and training;
- Annual Fusion Center Report section on "enabling capability," P/CRCL protection, (88pp | 1.58mb | PDF) upon which DHS conducts an annual assessment of each fusion center;
- Federal personnel, including DHS Intelligence Officers, who are deployed to the fusion centers to facilitate threat-related information sharing; and
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Homeland Security Grant Program Requirements, which require (among other protections) that each fusion center have a privacy civil/liberties policy at least as comprehensive as the ISE Privacy Guidelines. (9pp | 130kb | PDF)
Relationship of the Fusion Centers to other State and Local Entities/Private sector
Fusion centers conduct analysis and facilitate information sharing while assisting law enforcement and homeland security partners in preventing, protecting against, and responding to crime and terrorism. State and local partners include front-line law enforcement, public safety, fire service, emergency response, private sector security, critical infrastructure protection, Native American tribes (2pp | 1.3mb | PDF) and public health personnel. (30pp | 1.7mb | PDF) Many fusion centers have formal liaison relationships with many of these entities, sometimes with personnel detailed to fusion centers.
- Police Chief Magazine offers a good overview of the liaison officers program.
- Here is one fusion center's description of their liaison office network.
P/CRCL Officers may be called upon to provide P/CRCL training for their center's law enforcement liaison officer network or otherwise ensure that P/CRCL protections are integrated into the fusion center-related work of the liaison officers.
More on the role of a P/CRCL Officer.
Read More on Fusion Centers
Fusion center network descriptions from federal
- DHS fact sheet on Fusion Centers (2 pp. | 730 KB | PDF).
- PM-ISE's brief overview of the national network of fusion centers.
National Fusion Center Network Annual Assessment (DHS) and gap mitigation activities.