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The Weekly Snapshot
Your source for the latest tips, information, and current campus safety resources from the NCCPS.
Download the Fusion Center Guidelines (PDF) here.
Suspicious Activity Detection and Information Sharing
Fusion centers, collaborative efforts 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, were first established in 2004 and 2005 in different states using various local, state and federal funds. There were no official standards or guidelines for fusion centers to help create a formal set of criteria for operations and communications between the local, state and federal levels. In response, The Department of Justice (DOJ) formed the Law Enforcement Intelligence Fusion Center Focus Group (FCFG). FCFG and the Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) worked concurrently to develop comprehensive fusion center guidelines for public safety and private sector entities to utilize when developing and operating a fusion center within a state or region. 
Today, state and major urban area fusion centers "serve as primary focal points within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information among federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) partners." They are owned and operated by state and local entities and receive federal support in order to provide d eployed personnel, t raining, t echnical assistance, e xercise support, s ecurity clearances, c onnectivity to federal systems, t echnology, and grant funding.

In 2010, the Fusion Center Directors were able to refine the core responsibilities of fusion centers into four Critical Operational Capabilities (COCs):
  • Receive: Ability to receive classified and unclassified information from federal partners
  • Analyze: Ability to assess local implications of that threat information through the use of a formal risk assessment process
  • Disseminate: Ability to further disseminate that threat information to other state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector entities within their jurisdiction
  • Gather: Ability to gather locally-generated information, aggregate it, analyze it, and share it with federal partners as appropriate
Outlining and maximizing the efforts placed in the COCs is critical to building and expanding a National Network of Fusion Centers, which will be capable of sharing "information with the federal government and SLTT partners during situations involving time-sensitive and emerging threats."
We encourage you to reach out to your local fusion center, if you have not already connected with them. You can locate your nearest fusion center by visiting the National Fusion Center Association. The National Fusion Center Association also provides training and conference information, and various resources. For additional information and resources on fusion centers including fire safety integration, privacy policy development, and technical assistance, please visit the Fusion Centers and Intelligence web page on the Office of Justice Programs website.
"If You See Something, Say Something"
An essential component of campus public safety is e ncouraging your community to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity. The Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with U.S. Department of Justice's Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI) launched the "If You See Something, Say Something"  campaign in July 2010, with the goal of training state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime. Any reports that fit the standardized criteria are shared with fusion centers for analysis. If they are reasonably indicative of terrorist activity, the reports are shared with federal and SLTT partners. Access their  campaign materials that feature PSAs, posters, and web graphics you can use.
Download the Emergency Communications Governance Guide (PDF) here.
Emergency Communications Governance Resources
In recent years, we have seen the emergence of new technologies, such as broadband services, powerful mobile applications, and social media, that enable us to communicate and share information during emergencies. These new technologies, coupled with the modernization and evolution of public safety communications networks, devices, and information systems, have presented both opportunities and challenges for those involved in emergency communications. 
With the goal of bringing public safety communications into the 21st century, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) worked with over 350 federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as private sector stakeholders, to update the 2014 National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP). Concurrently in recent years, the federal government has encouraged policies that focus on engaging the "whole community" in national preparedness activities. A "whole community" approach includes participation from a wider range of players, such as private cultural and educational institutions, in order to foster better coordination and working relationships to collectively meet the needs of an entire community. 
Achieving effective mission-critical communications requires more than technology, it requires governance. As outlined in the 2014 NECP, emergency communications governance is a top national priority. Developed with direct input from responders across the country, the SAFECOM Emergency Communications Governance Guide for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Emergency Communications Officials (Governance Guide) is a comprehensive source of governance challenges, best practices, and recommendations. The Governance Guide is a tool for public safety professionals, including campus public safety and emergency management professionals, to use in assessing, establishing, and sustaining effective emergency communications governance. 
In the section on structuring an effective membership composition, the Governance Guide states, "There is no strict framework, number of members, or hard-and-fast rule that can be described as a best practice for constructing the membership for an effective governance group. Instead, the particular character and makeup of a governance group should reflect the institutional culture, needs, and specific challenges of the population it represents." Regarding who the representatives of Land Mobile Radio (LMR), broadband communications, and 911 governance groups should be, the Governance Guide notes, "Education agencies have been included in several governing bodies for several reasons including campus law enforcement officers that need to coordinate with state and local law enforcement and extensive network infrastructure that can be used by LMR and broadband networks."
Most states have either a Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) or a similar point of contact for interoperability. SWICs have assisted in establishing and maintaining statewide governance systems and bringing together stakeholders from the broad spectrum of public safety communications. Campus safety and emergency management professionals who want to learn more about emergency communications efforts in their states, or how to become involved, may contact their regional National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) representative. The NCSWIC website offers resources, including best practices that have evolved from real-world situations, for members of the emergency response community to improve public safety interoperability.
The following additional resources will help provide insight and direction on how to build strong communications governing structures:
Click to access our online calendar of events.
Professional Development Opportunities

Title: Managing Critical Incidents for Higher Education Institutions: A Multi-Disciplinary Community Approach (MGT-361)
Hosted by: Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)
Dates and Locations:
  • December 8-10, 2015 in Fitchburg, MA
  • December 15-17, 2017 in Mount Vernon, WA
  • January 11-13, 2016 in Riverside, CA
  • Fee: Free
    Title: Terrorism Response Tactics: Exterior Response to Active Shooter Events (ERASE)
    Hosted by: South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED)
    Supported by:   Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) and 
    Dates: December 14-16, 2015
    Location: Columbia, SC
    Fee: Free
    Title: Community Discussion: Preparing Vulnerable Populations
    Hosted by: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual and Community Preparedness Division
    Date: November 23, 2015 at 2:00pm ET
    Location: Online
    Fee: Free
    This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
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