State and major urban area fusion centers (fusion centers) and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Investigative Support Centers (ISCs) help protect our nation by serving as valuable conduits for information sharing among federal, state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) agencies.
However, each center plays a unique yet complimentary role in securing the homeland; fusion centers empower homeland security partners through the lawful gathering, analysis and sharing of threat-related information, while HIDTA ISCs support the disruption and dismantlement of drug-trafficking and money-laundering organizations through the prevention or mitigation of associated criminal activity.
Fusion Centers vs. High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Investigative Support Centers
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Investigative Support Centers
Deal with terrorism as well as criminal and public safety matters across multiple disciplines, including law enforcement, critical infrastructure, fire service, emergency response, public health, and private sector security.
Perform specific core intelligence and information sharing functions in support of the disruption and dismantlement of drug-trafficking and money-laundering organizations.
Receive, analyze, gather, and disseminate threat-related information to appropriate law enforcement and homeland security agencies.
Facilitate communication between federal and SLTT law enforcement agencies in counter-drug investigations, eradication, and interdiction efforts.
Produce and disseminate actionable intelligence in support of all-crimes, all-hazards, and terrorism prevention.
Provide narcotics-related investigative case support and lead generation, as well as prepare threat assessments, strategic reports, trend and pattern assessments, and organizational studies.
Owned and operated by state and local authorities.
Created by the National HIDTA Program and sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
Collaborative Efforts of Fusion Centers and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Investigative Support Centers
Because there is a clear link between crimes associated with drug trafficking—possession or sale of drugs, larceny, and money laundering—and a variety of homeland security issues, including terrorism, collaboration between HIDTAs and fusion centers can ensure patterns associated with criminal and/or terrorism-related activities are more readily identified, thus creating safer communities and a more secure nation.
The following success stories highlight the critical need and successful outcomes of collaboration between both field-based information sharing entities:
- In the Oregon Terrorism Information Threat Assessment Network (TITAN) Fusion Center and the co-located HIDTA ISC coordinated efforts when responding to a lead from a local law enforcement agency regarding an opium operation. TITAN investigated the lead, analyzed resulting information, and facilitated the closure of the operation. The information gathered through this process informed HIDTA’s ongoing investigation into the operation.
- In January 2012, fusion centers collaborated with a regional HIDTA to aid in narcotics seizure that resulted in the confiscation of 28 lbs. of dried opium poppy pods and $26,000 in cash.