The Florida Fusion Center

Florida Fusion Center

What Is a Fusion Center?

A fusion center is a collaborative effort of state, local, tribal territorial and federal agencies working in partnership to share resources, expertise, and/or information to better identify, detect, prevent, apprehend and respond to threats, crimes and terrorist activity utilizing an all crimes/all hazards approach. The multidisciplinary approach of a fusion center increases the awareness of potential threats and enhances public safety.

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. To do this, Fusion centers 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

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 2008 and serves as the head of the Network of Florida Fusion Centers. The Network of Florida Fusion Centers includes two recognized fusion centers and five regional fusion centers, to include three certified nodes of the FFC. The Network of Florida Fusion Centers works together for the gathering, processing, analysis, and dissemination of terrorism, law enforcement, and homeland security information. The focus of these regional centers may vary slightly from the FFC, but the flow of information between these centers are coordinated to serve the needs of all Floridians.

How We Operate

The Florida Fusion Center (FFC) operates 24/7 to provide analytical assistance and situational awareness to agencies in Florida and fusion centers across the country. The FFC consists of analysts and other staff from partner state and federal agencies with the primary mission of analyzing and sharing information to protect the citizens, visitors, resources and critical infrastructure of Florida. In support of this mission, the FFC works alongside the Network of Florida Fusion Centers and National Network of Fusion Centers to unify and share critical information.

To aid in ongoing collaboration, all partner agencies contribute a liaison from their own agency to the FFC that has been through a state and federal background check and security clearance process. These liaisons have been trained in legal and privacy issues, to include 28 CFR Part 23, and acknowledge that they must handle any intelligence or criminal investigative information in accordance with State and Federal law. The liaisons receive continuous training to assist them in their daily duties, which includes the production of strategic briefings and assessments on emerging or potential public safety threats in Florida.

The FFC is advised by an Executive Advisory Board made up of partner agencies tasked with providing guidance and recommendations on supporting the FFC mission and the needs of its partner agencies.

Contact the Florida Fusion Center