Criminal Intelligence Sharing: A National Plan for Intelligence-Led Policing

Executive Summary Motivated by the tragic events of September 11 and resulting revelations that underscore the importance of improved intelligence exchange between national agencies, President Bush has recently called for the creation of a Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security. Among other things, the proposal emphasizes that improved criminal intelligence data sharing is critical to enhancing law enforcement and other emergency agencies’ capacities to protect the American public against terrorism and all other criminal acts that threaten its safety. Significantly, the President’s proposal does not focus exclusively on improved intelligence sharing between national-level agencies – it recognizes that non-federal protective services agencies must be brought into the process. Law enforcement executives and intelligence experts from across the country who met at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Criminal Intelligence Sharing Summit held in Alexandria, Virginia, March 7-8, 2002 came to a similar conclusion, and their proposal aligns itself well with the President’s initiative. Participants engaged the issues through discussions on the capacities for and barriers to intelligence sharing, the standards and guidelines that direct intelligence sharing, technology and training related to intelligence sharing, and important legal and civil rights that must guide all criminal intelligence gathering and sharing processes. Discussions also focused on the unique potential for community oriented policing initiatives to aid in the gathering of locally driven intelligence. Summit participants articulated a vision in which non-federal agencies are more than adjuncts to a national strategy for improved intelligence communication, but founding partners of any organization – and leading participants in any process – that helps coordinate the collection, analysis, dissemination and use of criminal intelligence data in the U.S. This summary provides an overview of the details of their proposal.

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