A comprehensive fusion liaison officer program: the Arizona model
Wickers, William F., Jr.
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Many of the fusion centers recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have established a liaison officer program with the intent of sharing information. In Arizona, the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center’s Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) Program has become an institution that is relied upon by participant jurisdictions for intelligence and information sharing between federal, state and local governments, along with unifying critical infrastructure initiatives and responding to major events. The network provides professional and vetted-out partners throughout the public safety community to assist jurisdictions in addressing many high-risk events and incidents. In the Phoenix urban area, TLOs respond to moderate and large scenes to support incident commanders with critical infrastructure data, a law enforcement intelligence research capability and a fire/emergency medical service/hazardous materials coordination capability that did not exist prior to the TLO program’s establishment. The Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center’s TLO program can serve as a model for fusion centers by demonstrating how multilayered and multijurisdictional relationships can be leveraged into a comprehensive network to address complex issues.
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