The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hosted an Intelligence Summit this week in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police and other national law enforcement organizations to deepen partnerships and continue to adapt and improve information sharing as public safety and national security threats evolve.
Held in Alexandria, Virginia, August 17-18, 2022, the summit was the first of its kind to be held in 15 years and is a critical element of the Department of Homeland Security’s work to empower, inform, and engage law enforcement and homeland security partners in anticipating and responding to potential threats.
“In the 20 years since 9/11, our law enforcement and homeland security community has made great progress in reshaping our information sharing environment – working together, we put policies and processes in place that help us to be safer and more secure than we were years ago,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “We are committed to building on this foundation, as we are facing a more complex, diverse, and dynamic threat landscape than ever before. The wide array of threats we face impact the safety and security of local communities of every size and location across our great country. The most effective way in which we address these challenges is through our partnerships, working together with one another.”
“In the weeks since I rejoined public service, the importance of our partnerships and the value of coordinated information sharing has been clear to me every day, and the collaborative spirit at this week’s summit shows the depth of engagement we have built together over the last 20 years,” said DHS Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis Ken Wainstein. “We are wholly committed to prioritizing close connectivity with our federal, state and local partners to enhance our information sharing initiatives and build the partnerships that are necessary to combat the threats of today and anticipate the threats of tomorrow.”
Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners convened shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, creating a domestic information sharing architecture to enable the timely and seamless exchange of information to detect and eliminate terrorist threats. The threat environment has continued to evolve since that time, and DHS is committed to enhancing its collaboration with state, local, tribal, territorial, and campus (SLTTC) partners to stay ahead.
The 2022 Intelligence Summit served as a forum to galvanize collaboration and commitment to supporting SLTTC partners as they protect their communities. Senior leaders and key stakeholders convened with the goal of discovering new opportunities and improving existing avenues to enhance information sharing between all levels of government, while ensuring the protection of the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of U.S. citizens. During the Summit, the participants discussed opportunities to enhance information sharing efforts, including:
The importance of sharing intelligence in a timely manner, and at the lowest classification level possible, including the value of the recently released DHS Intel Mobile Application.
The necessity of strong protections of privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties across all intelligence and information sharing efforts.
The critical role of the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC) in supporting and coordinating efforts across all levels of government to develop and share intelligence and information across the nation.
Opportunities to enhance the identification and reporting of suspicious activity through the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI).
The value of the Fusion Center Engagement and Information Sharing Strategy, which outlines DHS’s commitment to supporting our law enforcement and homeland security partners in states and cities nationwide, and describes how fusion centers enable information sharing vital to our national security.