What is a Fusion Center?
A fusion center is a collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise, and information to the center with the goal of maximizing their ability to detect, prevent, investigate, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity. Intelligence processes through which information is collected, integrated, evaluated, analyzed, and disseminated are a primary focus.
Data fusion involves the exchange of information from different sources including law enforcement, public safety, and the private sector. Relevant and actionable intelligence results from analysis and data fusion. The fusion process helps agencies be proactive and protect communities.
National Support for Fusion Centers
In 2006, the President approved the establishment of a national integrated network of state and major urban area information fusion centers. The U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) deploy personnel to work within the fusion centers.
Nearly all 50 States Have Fusion Centers
Recognizing the critical importance of information sharing, nearly all 50 states have created fusion centers with various federal, state, and local funds (several major urban areas also have fusion centers).
Fusion Center Guidelines
The Fusion Center guidelines were developed to ensure that fusion centers are established and operated consistently, resulting in enhanced coordination, strengthened partnerships, and improved crime-fighting and anti-terrorism capabilities. The 18 guidelines and their key elements, as well as additional resources, model policies, and implementation tools, are included in this publication from the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and DHS.
Role of Fusion Centers
State and regional fusion centers enable local, state, and tribal governments to gather, process, analyze, and share information and intelligence relating to all-crimes and all-hazards. Fusion centers communicate, cooperate, and coordinate with each other and with federal government. These centers:
- Contribute information to ongoing federal and national-level terrorist risk assessments and complete statewide, regional, or site-specific and topical risk assessments.
- Disseminate federally generated alerts, warnings, and notifications regarding time-sensitive threats, situational awareness reports, and analytical products.
- Gather, process, analyze, and disseminate locally generated information, such as Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).
- Produce or interpret intelligence products relevant to stakeholders.
- Protect civil liberties and privacy interests of American citizens throughout the intelligence process.