Communication is the heartbeat of human activity, including that of security practitioners. Three writers of an In Public Safety post explain how this plays out daily, especially since 9/11.
“In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, local law enforcement agencies in the United States were thrust into counterterrorism and intelligence-gathering roles—responsibilities they had never carried before. Fulfilling these sudden expectations was extremely difficult since local agencies did not have access to the necessary tools—or budget—to fulfill such responsibilities.
“After 9/11, improving communication became one of the primary focuses within all levels of law enforcement. The 9/11 Commission, which investigated the events leading up to the terror attacks, found that agencies had not shared information that could have connected the dots to identify terror threats.”
So Joint terrorism task forces (JTTFs) and Fusion Centers were formed. Currently, there are 77 fusion centers located throughout the U.S. with one in every state and 22 additional facilities in major urban areas such as Boston, New York, and Los Angeles. Fusion centers were formed to serve as state and major urban area focal points for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information among law enforcement, other government services, and private-sector partners.
This may sound like a lot of security busy work, but it isn’t. Good communication, as we said at the start, is the backbone of effective human effort. To know how to respond, any agency must know as clearly as possible what it’s responding to and who else is helping.