College, university and school officials may find collaborating with their state and local fusion center is a good way to improve campus security and safety.
State and regional fusion centers bring together representatives from state, local, tribal, territorial government agencies, and the private sector to gather, analyze and share threat information. Fusion centers work with each other and federal agencies to share threat information potentially affecting the entire nation.
Fusion centers work with local stakeholders including schools, utilities, businesses and industrial sites to share threat and vulnerability information. Some offer training and some offer a Fusion Liaison Officer program to ensure key stakeholders can identify suspicious activity and know how to report it.
Though originally created after 9/11 to focus on counterterrorism, most fusion centers now have an all-hazards approach. Each of the 79 fusion centers across the country is unique in the way it is staffed and managed by its state and regional governments.
In addition, campus security and administrators interested in minimizing their risk can often request assistance with a threat or vulnerability assessment through a fusion center. This process will ultimately help identify the best places to focus money and resources to create a more resilient campus and community.
All critical stakeholders — to include fire and EMS, emergency management, 911, private businesses, non-profits and public health/healthcare facilities — should consider contacting their local fusion center to establish a working relationship and see what you have to offer each other.