Explain the difference between the cooperation that occurs through fusion centers and that through other kinds of multiagency activities, such as task forces and joint investigations.

Since the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, there has been a real push in local law enforcement agencies—especially large ones—to incorporate intelligence-led policing techniques.

A part of that strategy has been the creation of fusion centers in all fifty states intended to facilitate the sharing of police intelligence information between federal, state, and local agencies. Consider the Lambert (2010) article, “Intelligence-Led Policing in a Fusion Center” and the “US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report on Fusion Centers” in the Webliography.

The creation of fusion centers and their operations have not been without controversy. Many civil libertarians have expressed concern that instead of focusing only on real threats, fusion centers encourage the government’s suspicion toward law-abiding citizens and groups that are suspected of potential hostility toward government.

Tasks:

Write a 2- to 3-page paper. In the paper:

  • Take a definitive stand, with explanations, for or against the use of fusion centers as a local law enforcement tool.
  • Discuss how these centers may be abused to violate citizen rights.
  • Explain the difference between the cooperation that occurs through fusion centers and that through other kinds of multiagency activities, such as task forces and joint investigations.
  • Identify and discuss the possible steps or policies to minimize concerns that some have raised about potential abuses.

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