Saturday, October 23, 2010

Central hub for Texas police info opens up

Think of it as a central hub allowing law enforcement from across the Lone Star State to fight terror. That's what the new Texas Department of Public Safety Fusion Center will be, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning for the new facility got officials of various agencies a step closer to a useful tool in the fight against crime. The idea is to pool intelligence to help prevent terrorist attacks and track organized crime, the like Mexican cartel drug activity. "Every agency has expertise and intelligence analysis. They also have information," said DPS Director Steve McCraw. "By combining that information is the only way you can get an accurate understanding of that threat environment."

Still, critics have called the center a threat to privacy, much like civil liberties groups have protested loudly about the Austin Regional Intelligence Center. The Austin City Council approved using a $150,000 federal grant in August 2009 to run the fusion center, which will allow 10 local law enforcement agencies to share crime information. Critics have said they are worried the information-sharing by law enforcement could lead to personal profiling and undue surveillance. Yet, law enforcement agencies in Travis, Hays and Williamson counties said the goal of the center is to fight organized crime and to track crime trends.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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