Local Security Gets Boost
The security chiefs of approximately 40 Minnesota firms, the FBI, and local law enforcement agencies have teamed up to exchange greater information to be better able to detect possible terrorist activity.
On Feb. 9, the FBI introduced a secure Web site through which the bureau and local police agencies can communicate, says U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger. Agencies will also use email and phone calls to talk with each other, he says. Executives from local companies may also soon get government clearance to access the data, Heffelfinger says.
The local FBI launched the Twin Cites Security Partnership about 18 months ago. The partnership’s approximately 100 members meet quarterly to interact, says FBI special agent Paul McCabe, who notes that law enforcement also hopes to team up with large businesses such as Xcel Energy and the Mall of America.
Heffelfinger says if a private company experiences a case of identity theft, it could help law enforcement track down funds being transferred to terrorist organizations. At the same time, law enforcement agencies might be able to alert companies about possible criminal actions before they are aware of it in their stores.
“This is a faster way of connecting the dots,” says Michael Tabman, the recently appointed head of Minneapolis’ FBI office.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Saint Paul Pioneer Press (MN) (02/10/05) P. 6B; Silver, Beth .