Southeast Florida Fusion Center (SEFFC)
Since its inception in October 2007, the Southeast Florida Fusion Center (SEFFC) has supported the efficient, timely, and accurate exchange of criminal information among state law enforcement agencies.
The SEFFC is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The center augments law enforcement operations by acting as a centralized, comprehensive intelligence fusion center, specifically designed to coordinate the exchange of criminal intelligence on a local, regional, and statewide basis.
Its central location helps pool the resources of the Miami-Dade Police Department, as well as other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, to gather law enforcement information and data.
Agencies throughout Miami-Dade County and South Florida are not only invited to provide information and make requests for assistance to the SEFFC but are also encouraged to contribute personnel to staff the center.
The communities that are served clearly benefit from the successful fusion center's support and resources.
What Is a Fusion Center?
A fusion center is a collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise, and information to the center with the goal of maximizing their ability to detect, prevent, investigate, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity.
Intelligence processes through which information is collected, integrated, evaluated, analyzed, and disseminated are a primary focus. State and major urban area fusion centers (fusion centers) serve as focal points within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering and sharing of threat-related information between the federal government and state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT), and private sector partners.
Fusion centers are uniquely situated to empower frontline personnel to understand local implications of national intelligence, thus enabling local officials to better protect their communities. Fusion centers provide interdisciplinary expertise and situational awareness to inform decision making at all levels of government.
They conduct analysis and facilitate information sharing while assisting law enforcement and homeland security partners in preventing, protecting against, and responding to crime and terrorism.
Nearly All States and Territories Have Fusion Centers
Fusion centers are owned and operated by state and local entities and are designated by the Governor of their state. Recognizing the critical importance of information sharing, nearly all states and territories, as well as several major urban areas, have operational fusion centers.
National Support for Fusion Centers
Fusion centers are owned and operated by state and local entities with support from federal partners in the form of deployed personnel, training, technical assistance, exercise support, security clearances, connectivity to federal systems, technology, and grant funding.
Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), have expedited the deployment of these resources to fusion centers to enhance their ability to perform their mission.
Fusion Center Guidelines
The Fusion Center Guidelines were developed to ensure that fusion centers are established and operated consistently, resulting in enhanced coordination, strengthened partnerships, and improved crime-fighting and anti-terrorism capabilities.
The 18 guidelines and their ley elements—as well as additional resources, model policies, and implementation tools are included in this publication from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and DHS.
Role of Fusion Centers
Fusion centers enable local, state, and tribal governments to gather, process, analyze, and share information and intelligence relating to crimes (including terrorism) and hazards. Fusion centers communicate, cooperate, and coordinate with each other and with the federal government. These centers contribute to the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) through their role in:
- Receiving threat information from the federal government
- Analyzing that information in the context of their local environment and disseminating that information to local agencies.
- Gathering tips, leads, and suspicious activity reporting (SAR) from local agencies and the public.
- Protecting civil liberties and privacy interests of American citizens throughout the intelligence process.
Fusion centers receive information from a variety of sources, including SAR from stakeholders within their jurisdictions, as well as federal information and intelligence. They analyze the information and develop relevant products to disseminate to their customers. These products assist homeland security partners at all levels of government to identify and address immediate and emerging threats.
Fusion centers also provide the federal government with critical state and local information and subject-matter expertise that it did not receive in the past enabling the effective communication of locally generated threat-related information to the federal government. With timely, accurate information on potential terrorist threats, fusion centers can directly contribute to and inform investigations initiated and conducted by federal entities, such as the Joint Terrorism Task Forces led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Services and Assistance
- Access an extensive array of subject-matter expertise and threat information through a single contact point.
- Receive bulletins with intelligence and advance warnings regarding possible criminal and terrorist threat and other hazards.
- Save manpower and investigative steps. Both sworn and civilian personnel with knowledge and expertise in a variety of designated areas of responsibility are available at a fusion center to assist law enforcement and homeland security partners around the clock. These experienced and knowledgeable people access a centrally located pool of investigative resources to provide both analytical services as well as general case support.
- Access intelligence information from public safety partners. Nontraditional collectors of intelligence possess important information (e.g., risk assessments and suspicious activity reports) that can be 'fused" with law enforcement data to provide meaningful information and intelligence about threats and criminal activity. Fusion centers combine efforts with these nontraditional sources.
- Embrace proactive intelligence efforts. Those efforts are key to inhibiting criminal networks—whether those groups are terrorists, drug-related groups, organized crime, or other criminal enterprises.
Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties (P/CRCL) Protections
Fusion centers, DHS, and DOJ have identified the protection of P/CRCL as a key priority and an important enabling capability to ensure that fusion centers protect P/CRCL, while supporting homeland security efforts.
To support this priority, DOJ and DHS partnered to develop a privacy and civil liberties Web site. This page, available at http.flvw.w.itojp.gov/privacyliberty/, includes:
- Training resources
- Authorities and guidance
- Privacy and civil liberties resources
- Relevant government reports
FUSION CENTERS IN ACTION
See Something Say Something Initiative at the Metrorail station
Building Communities of Trust Initiative
The Miami-Dade Police Department and the Southeast Florida Fusion Center hosted a roundtable discussion that brought together a small number of privacy and civil liberties groups, community leaders, and law enforcement officials to learn about and discuss initiatives designed to improve the capabilities of law enforcement agencies. The roundtable focused on gathering, analyzing, and sharing critical information related to preventing terrorism in our communities.