PHOENIX – Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) and Chief Intelligence Officer, Melissa Smislova, addressed the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) at the annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona on June 21st, 2021. The annual conference includes sheriffs from both the Northern and Southern Borders, and sheriffs elected to represent major counties across America.
The Association’s mission is to serve sheriffs and its affiliates through law enforcement education and training, and through the provision of general law enforcement informational resources. The Association represents thousands of sheriffs, deputies, public safety professionals, and concerned citizens nationwide.
Acting Under Secretary Smislova discussed DHS’s intelligence priorities and opportunities to enhance information sharing with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners across federal and non-federal law enforcement and intelligence organizations. Ms. Smislova also discussed current Homeland threats with the Association’s Homeland Security Committee (HSC) and Border Security Committee (BSC), whose membership includes key regional consumers and contributors to the critical intelligence I&A produces in their defense of the homeland.
“Now more than ever, the safety of the American people relies on the critical connections DHS builds with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners,” said Acting Under Secretary Smislova. “Intelligence analysts and law enforcement officials across the country have a first-hand, day-to-day look into some of the most perilous threats to the security of the Homeland. The Nation’s Sheriffs are called upon to protect our communities every day, they have personal understanding of the dangers domestic violent extremists, transnational criminal organizations, and cyber actors pose to our communities. That is why Americans are safest when partners like the Nation’s Sheriffs and I&A work together to identify, analyze, and stop these threats.”
While in Phoenix, Acting Under Secretary Smislova also met with local law enforcement partners from the Arizona Counterterrorism and Information Center. Acting Under Secretary Smislova also met with private sector partners from the area to discuss critical infrastructure and cyber security threats they have seen and how I&A can better assist the company in strengthening their efforts within the critical infrastructure sector.
Under the leadership of Secretary Mayorkas, the Department of Homeland Security and I&A will continue to work closely with state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners to strengthen relationships and enhance information sharing between critical Homeland security stakeholders.