2007 Criminal Intelligence Sharing Summit

identity theft image In the aftermath of September 11th, the COPS Office took an active role in working with local, state, and tribal law enforcement as we confronted a new era in policing, one in which more emphasis was put on not only protecting citizens from criminals, but also from terrorists. Within 6 months of 9/11, the COPS Office funded the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to convene a National Criminal Intelligence Summit that recognized the need for state, local, and tribal agencies to work toward common goals. The result of that summit was The National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan that identified action steps that all law enforcement agencies could implement in their efforts to protect the homeland.

Five years later, in November 2007, federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement executives gathered at the 2007 Criminal Intelligence Sharing Summit: Measuring Success and Setting Goals for the Future. The Summit, a joint partnership of the COPS Office, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence), and the IACP, was designed to measure the progress and impact of intelligence gathering, sharing, analysis, and use in the 5 years since the first summit. While much has been accomplished in that span, participants focused their efforts on identifying obstacles and emerging concerns that limit full implementation of the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan.

In breakout sessions, participants discussed six critical areas: Fusion Centers; Intelligence Led-Policing (ILP); Privacy and Civil Liberties; Training and Technical Assistance; Building an Analytical Capability; and the Sharing of Classified and Unclassified Information.

A key theme that resonated in these breakout groups and throughout the summit was the importance of community policing. In his opening address, COPS Director Carl Peed said, “Intelligence-led policing in particular is a useful strategy that can help law enforcement agencies better prepare for and prevent serious violent crime and acts of terror. ILP can take advantage of the partnerships built through community policing by leveraging the trust between citizens and law enforcement; ILP can be informed by the problem-solving processes; and, it can also benefit from the organizational transformation inherent in community policing. Put simply, ILP is not just consistent with community policing, but it fits well under the community policing umbrella.”

Summit participants also heard from other government leaders including Ambassador Thomas E. McNamara, Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment; DHS Under Secretary, Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Charlie Allen; FBI Assistant Director, Directorate of Intelligence, Wayne Murphy; FBI Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division, Joseph Billy, Jr.; and Frances Townsend, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. All acknowledged the critical role that local law enforcement contributes to the fight against terrorism as well as the many changes since 2002, including the establishment of fusion centers and the creation of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and its Office of the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment. All emphasized the need to partner and share information among state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the federal government. They also acknowledged the need for fusion centers to embrace an all-crimes approach rather than a sole focus on counterterrorism.

In 2008, the IACP will release a publication documenting the many recommendations that were developed by participants as next steps in securing the homeland and striving toward the full implementation of the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan and promoting an information-sharing environment.