Map Your Local Fusion Center

Fusion centers -- places for state, local and federal officials to share and analyze information -- sprang up at the local level in the wake of the post-9/11 complaints about the failure to "connect the dots." In 2003, the federal government began contributing funding; to date, the Department of Homeland Security has provided more than $420 million in funding to 72 fusion centers across the country, but some localities have funded additional centers.

Fusion centers are built upon the idea of cops on a beat -- local authorities will recognize potential threats to their communities and feed the system with intelligence about possible terrorists. But critics charge that the imperative to gather as much information as possible can lead to abuses and misinformation that can get into national databases.

Here is a map of state-level fusion centers, click on a point to learn more.

Sources The Washington Post, ACLU. Note: Hawaii's fusion center, the Pacific Regional Intelligence Clearinghouse, has yet to open.

“I don't disagree that there are probably too many [fusion centers]. But why? Because they're doing some pretty good work and anybody who can get one wants to have one.…”-- Michael Hayden, former director CIA (2006-09), former director NSA (1999-2005)
“The problem that we're having with fusion centers is their mission is very ill defined.”-- Michael German, ACLU policy counsel, former FBI agent

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Posted January 18, 2011

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