Fusion Center Takes Aim At Terror
Financed by Massachusetts last fall and formally opened in May, Framingham’s Commonwealth Fusion Center offers statewide data sharing among area, state, and federal public safety agencies and the private sector in synchronizing intelligence against terrorism.
Eighteen civilian analysts study criminal information and 23 intelligence officers–State Police troopers who have the authority to make arrests–operate in the field.
Raytheon received a $2.2 million deal to create intelligence-sharing software that tries to incorporate databases and help analysts uncover criminal patterns.
The Fusion Center got over $3 million from the federal and state governments in 2005, excluding salaries for the 23 intelligence officers and the center’s leader, who are paid by the State Police. An additional $1.7 million in state money has been earmarked for next year, and Massachusetts is channeling $10 million in federal money to regional efforts to improve technology to communicate with the Fusion Center.
Fusion centers are a growing trend nationally, and a minimum of six states have formed such facilities in recent years. The American Civil Liberties Union, however, is voicing concerns about the possibility for the center to utilize the new database to obtain and retain data on private citizens.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Boston Globe (09/26/05); Ebbert, Stephanie .