Hacking the silos: eliminating information barriers between public health and law enforcement
Minks, Cody L.
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This thesis aims to define the current level of information sharing and integration between public health and law enforcement by examining fusion centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs). The data collection instruments for this thesis were three separate but closely related surveys sent to fusion centers, JTTFs, and public health departments. Only one of the 23 surveyed fusion centers truly includes public health considerations in its functions, a decrease from research conducted by Naval Postgraduate School master’s student James Morrissey in 2007. None of the JTTF respondents have a public health representative on their task force and, although the public health sector is interested in integration, its representatives rarely contact JTTFs and fusion centers to initiate collaboration. The data from the literature and surveys indicate that fusion centers and JTTFs want to collaborate with the public health sector, as well, but face integration obstacles such as funding, manpower, and resources. This thesis proposes recommendations to improve collaboration between law enforcement and public health agencies across the United States, including removing certain requirements to serve, expanding the role of regional public health planners, and re-expanding federal grant programs to reflect originally established funding opportunities.
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