Strengths of Distributed HSINT

One of the strengths from the HSINT enterprise is the current policies in place since September 11, 2001 (9/11). In the Michael Beshears (2016) article, Beshears quotes Willard Oliver (2009) stating, “Since the terrorist attack of 9/11, federal, state and local governments have increasingly moved toward establishing homeland security as an institutional response to not only the threat of future terrorist attacks, but as a means of preparing and responding to natural disasters. The state level is assigned to lead the role in homeland security by bringing together the public security, law enforcement, and emergency response capabilities (Steiner, 2009). Another strength is the intelligence led policing as it focuses on working with the public.

Limitations of Distributed HSINT

Limitations that exist include the information sharing between the levels in the HSINT. Fusion centers need a defined existence and proper procedures on how to communicate and transmit data effectively. The development of fusion centers was an initiative undertaken at the sub-federal level. The inability to effectively share information and sustain proper communication, results in further procedure integration to sustain longevity of the fusion centers (Burch, 2008). Not knowing what type of information to share and with who, hinders the effectiveness of the HSINT.

Suggested Improvements

The department of homeland security must assign one agency as the primary agency for the intelligence community. “The lack of a leading agency is reflected in the fact that Department of Justice (DOJ), DHS, and FBI have each issued training guidelines; they are very similar, but the issuance of three almost identical but separate guidelines raises the question: why not just have one set created by one body overseeing the intelligence community” (Bjelopera, 2014, p. 28). Additionally, without a primary agency it is challenging to supervise the levels of federal funding dedicated to the intelligence community (Bjelopera, 2014). In addition, proper funding from the federal level needs improving. Funding is being reduced, and in some cases withdrawn, for most agencies in the homeland security enterprise which represents collaboration that much more difficult to accomplish (Minks, 2018). Increasing funding and offering an incentive to improve and foster the interagency collaboration strategically to benefit all parties involved.

Local Fusion Center

The closest local fusion center to me is the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange, which is an all crimes/all hazards fusion center. The mission is

To protect the citizens and visitors of Central Florida by providing information and knowledge, in the form of actionable intelligence, to policy and decision makers. The Central Florida Intelligence Exchange will collect, analyze, produce and disseminate intelligence in order to support regional efforts to detect, deter, disrupt, and deny terrorist and/or criminal activity (CFIX, n.d., para 2).

This group of organizations comprise of 9 county sheriff’s offices, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Orange County Corrections, Florida Highway Patrol, and Municipalities in Region five. The federal organizations include Federal Bureau of Investigators (FBI), DHS, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This fusion center is located in Orlando, FL where there is on-site staffing from multiple local, state, and federal agencies.

This fusion center, I have a friend who was a representative of Seminole County for the fusion center. This fusion center does do all crimes/hazards. One case I remember from my friend that they discovered a money laundering ring that he went down to South America to investigate. That is all the details I received from him, but it was interesting in some of the information he was able to share with me. He is no longer part of the group, as he accepted a promotion with his department to get back on the road.

References:

Beshears, M. (2016, August 30). Intelligence Led Policing: Preferred Policing Model in the War

Against Terrorism. Retrieved from https://inpublicsafety.com/2016/04/intelligence-le…

Bjelopera, J. (2014). Countering Violent Extremism in the United States . Congressional

Research Service. Retrieved from https://libertyunderattack.com/wp-content/uploads/…

Burch, J. (2008). The Domestic Intelligence Gap: Progress Since 9/11? Homeland Security Affairs,2, 1-24. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Jennifer/Dropbox/Jen & Chris Stuff/Chris/Master’s/INTL6131/Week2/supplement.2.2.pdf.

CFIX. (n.d.). Welcome to the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange. Retrieved from https://cfix.ocso.com/

Mink, C. (2018). Hacking The Silos: Eliminating Information Barriers Between Public Health

and Law Enforcement. Retrieved from https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/1052792….

Steiner, J. (2009, October 28). Improving Homeland Security at the State Level. Retrieved from

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-o…

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