Fusion Center History

Fusion centers were established following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to connect-the-dots between critical information housed in different agencies and share information and intelligence to aid in protecting communities. Fusion centers are the primary conduit between frontline personnel, state, and local leadership which assist in the collective review of information for the purpose of detecting, preventing and preparing for threats to public health and safety. They rely on partner agencies from a variety of sectors, including the private sector, to identify indicators and trends. Fusion centers also accept tips and suspicious activity reports from the public, particularly those that may be indicators for terrorist activity. Each fusion center has specific policies and procedures on handling information to ensure it is shared, as appropriate, and that privacy and Constitutional rights are protected.

To help unify the Nation’s efforts to share information and exchange intelligence, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was passed. The Act provides guidance to agencies at all levels about information sharing, access and collaboration. Part of this guidance is the need to designate a single fusion center in each state to serve as the “hub” for these activities. Since then, 79 primary and recognized fusion centers have been established nationwide.

The Florida Fusion Center, also known as FFC, began operations in 2007 and is located in Tallahassee, Florida. The FFC was designated as the state’s primary fusion center by the Governor in March of 2008 and serves as the head of the Network of Florida Fusion Centers.

Presently, the Network of Florida Fusion Centers includes two recognized fusion centers and five regional fusion centers, to include three certified nodes of the FFC.