Asserting collective state sovereignty to strengthen the national network of fusion centers
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The lack of legal uniformity in the National Network of Fusion Centers, or National Network, is not a simple problem, and there is no simple solution; however, operating in a network with 79 fusion centers and 54 different legal frameworks while trying to detect and prevent criminal-and terrorism-related activity-is not a simple task, either. And despite the expenditure of significant federal, state, and local dollars to establish a capable and robust network of fusion centers, insufficient time and energy has been dedicated to the creation of an effective and uniform legal framework for the National Network. Through interviews with leadership from 11 fusion centers, this thesis addresses the complications of non-uniformity and evaluates three legal mechanisms with the potential to create uniformity. This research reveals that a congressionally approved interstate compact would be the most effective legal mechanism to create uniformity within the National Network because it results in state statutory authority in every participating jurisdiction, has the potential to create national legal uniformity, and respects the sovereignty of the states vis-à-vis the federal government.
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