The Massachusetts Fusion Center is a part of critical infrastructure with a focus on maintaining a genuine awareness level relating to any and all national threat information. Additionally, this center provides security updates, including suspicious events relating to vital infrastructure by type or geographic areas, through access to a range of information and intelligence sources. The Fusion Center aims to establish itself as a focal point for gathering information on threats, particularly in relation to suspicious situations that may, at first, seem unrelated but may fact, be a part of a bigger criminal organization.
By combining data from many sources, this fusion center becomes an effective way to share information and intelligence, maximize resources, expedite operations, and strengthen the capacity to combat crime and terrorism. Generally, fusion centers also serve as a task force for carrying out specific provisions of the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan. A fusion center’s main objective is to offer a way for law enforcement, public safety, and business partners to collaborate to enhance the ability to protect our nation and deter crime. No police officer, firefighter, or building inspector should be needed to conduct information searches. They ought to be aware that they should contact the local fusion center.
Fusion centers were created to coordinate localized domestic intelligence collecting into a cohesive system that can disseminate information horizontally across a network of fusion centers. Additionally, information is spread vertically up to and down to the federal intelligence community and local law enforcement. These facilities may hire personnel from the federal intelligence community, the military, state and municipal governments, local law enforcement and homeland security agencies, as well as other state and local government organizations.
The purpose of the Massachusetts Fusion Center can be seen when examining an example of a national disaster. One of the examples of successes of the US fusion centers was furring the hurricane Irma. The Virgin Islands were among the islands off the US coast that were affected by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Due to storm damage, a couple from Falls Church, Virginia, had been stranded at their holiday house close to St. John. They had little water, no electricity, and no way to leave their island. Their daughter revealed the landslide that had engulfed her parents’ home when she discovered a video that a pilot shot from above the island. She contacted members of Congress, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Red Cross, but none of them had the means to help.
After learning about the family’s predicament, Glenn Archer, the executive director of the National Fusion Center Association, contacted the fusion center in the Virgin Islands. After working all night, the director of the Virgin Islands Fusion Center found the couple and sent an FBI SWAT team to their location. The couple was reunited with their daughter in Virginia after the procedure was a success. The pair had been stranded for seven days and ran out of potable water when rescued.
One of the 79 fusion centers in the country is the Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center. Mostly the local fusion centers do not have much difference in their goals, missions, and code of conduct from general federal fusion centers. The Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center functions as a command center for acquiring, evaluating, and disseminating intelligence and other public safety information. It is run by local and state law enforcement in collaboration with the US Department of Homeland Security.
Additionally, the center aims to offer direct points of contact for staff members who operate at locations considered to be vital infrastructure. Also, the staff might have security-related inquiries or want to share information on non-emergency suspicious occurrences. This data will be gathered and saved in a database to help analysts create intelligence products for partners in the public and private sectors (Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center, 2022). The objective is to give the Commonwealth the tools it needs to remain better equipped to avert catastrophic events and/or react in the event of an emergency.
In order to stop internal and international terrorism, The Massachusetts Fusion Center gathers and analyzes data from all available sources. After that, it generates and provides stakeholders with actionable intelligence so they may make strategic and tactical decisions. The Commonwealth Fusion Center will work with local, state, federal, municipal, and regional public safety organizations and establish a thorough, secure system for the prompt exchange of information. The Commonwealth Fusion Center seeks to provide analytical support directly to investigation work involving earlier criminal activity. Finally, the fusion center’s top priorities are to better inform the Commonwealth about crucial intelligence needs and danger signs and to provide timely and reliable information products (Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center, 2022). The expected outcome of these goals and mission is that the Commonwealth Fusion Center and its collaborators will make Massachusetts safer for all of its residents, tourists, and first responders by working toward these objectives.
Intelligence analysts at this Fusion Center are available to help any law enforcement organizations with inquiries or tasks that support the investigation, detection, or deterrent of terrorist activities or potential precursor offenses. The federal government has granted SECRET level clearances to CFC Analysts, highly qualified individuals. Analysts at the Fusion Center will maintain the strictest secrecy while handling partner agency material (Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center, 2022). Depending on the particular requirements of a partner, analysts will help with a difficult investigation or intelligence assignment. Task forces can also use the Fusion Center’s services to help them with their information analysis.
In conclusion, the Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center follows the goals stated in the mission statements of the majority of fusion centers nationwide. Through data collection and analysis of the elements that can pose a threat to society, it seeks to ensure a safer environment for US residents and visitors. To ensure a quick reaction to risks of any kind, law enforcement organizations interact with one another.
Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center. (2022). Fusion center brochure.