DomPrep wants to know your opinion on the current state of information sharing effectiveness and progress as the nation advances into the second decade of the post-9/11 era.
The 911 Commission cited shortfalls in information sharing across governmental levels and agencies as a cornerstone of lessons learned (The 911 Commission Report, p. 394) from the historic terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 (9/11). In the past decade, considerable effort at all levels of government has sought to improve information flow, resulting in tremendous successes in protecting national prosperity. One of the most notable successes involving timely information sharing in law enforcement is the 2010 interdiction of Najibullah Zazi and associates during the final stages of multi-prong attacks against targets in New York City. Information from a variety of sources was collected, analyzed, disseminated as actionable intelligence, and rapidly used between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies across multiple states as Zazi traveled within the United States.
In the years since 9/11, the number of information Fusion Centers has grown to 72, each having direct links to the national Intelligence Community of 16 agencies. Yet, the question remains whether information sharing is optimally effective at the local level for law enforcement and across the multidisciplinary spectrum of emergency management. Progress made in improving effectiveness in information sharing may stagnate or even regress in the wake of security breaches, such as WikiLeaks, as well as current and future budget cuts.
In addition to Fusion Centers, public-safety agencies currently use a dedicated communications spectrum as set aside under the Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 and other federal statutes for their dedicated voice communication needs. However, public-sector agencies rely heavily on a private-sector allocated spectrum for data and other types of transmissions (e.g., video feeds, global information systems, etc.). Because of vulnerabilities to traffic volume and bandwidth limitations, U.S. Congress is now considering legislation that would dedicate the D-Block Spectrum to public safety.
If effective information sharing is measured against a “whole of society” design for resilience, the question of viability and sustainability of a hierarchical approach deserves consideration. The unprecedented challenges of information access, analytics, and secure dissemination continue to expand in a digital age where technology is both facilitative and detrimental.
Regardless of discipline, information sharing plays a key role in all stages of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. DomPrep wants your feedback about changes in information sharing over the years, effects of the growing social media market, privacy concerns, D Block, Fusion Centers, and more. DomPrep encourages all points of view.
As founder and president of Direct Action Resilience LLC, Joseph Trindal leads a team of retired federal, state, and local criminal justice officials providing consulting and training services to public and private sector organizations enhancing leadership, risk management, preparedness, and police services. He serves as a senior advisor to the U.S. Department of Justice, International Criminal Justice Training and Assistance Program (ICITAP) developing and leading delivery of programs that build post-conflict nations’ capabilities for democratic policing and applied modern investigative techniques. After a 20-year career with the U.S. Marshals Service, where he served as chief deputy U.S. marshal and ERT incident commander, he accepted the invitation in 2002 to become part of the leadership standing up the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as director at Federal Protective Service for the National Capital Region. He serves on the Partnership Advisory Council at the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST). He also serves on the International Association of Chiefs of Police, International Managers of Police Academy and College Training. He was on faculty as an instructor at George Washington University. He is past president of the InfraGard National Capital Region Members Alliance. He has published numerous articles, academic papers, and technical counter-terrorism training programs. He has two sons on active duty in the U.S. Navy. Himself a Marine Corps veteran, he holds degrees in police science and criminal justice. He has contributed to the DomPrep Journal since 2006 and is a member of the Preparedness Leadership Council.