Taking “Fusion” to the Next Level: How Hagerty Supports Public-Private Sector Intelligence Coordination
Recent civil unrest across the United States demonstrates the need for coordinated information and intelligence sharing amongst public safety agencies and the private sector. To facilitate this necessary two-way intelligence and information flow, private sector entities should establish a strong relationship with their local fusion center. Hagerty endeavors to facilitate this relationship-building by supporting both the public and private sector with high-level strategic planning, staff augmentation for specific roles, and multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional communications exercises.
An increasing number of fusion centers have emerged within the private sector. Often called global operations centers, these centers are associated with major corporations and gather intelligence to understand and stay ahead of the information landscape, like their public sector counterparts. These centers’ mission is to protect business operations, brand, employees, and facilities. By establishing a strong relationship with local fusion centers, the private sector can support the whole community and our country’s ability to prevent, respond to, and recover from threats to public safety.
Fusion centers provide a unique perspective on threats to their state or locality by collecting and communicating critical intelligence information across all-hazards. They also serve as the primary conduit between frontline response personnel, state and local leadership, and the federal government. Government-run fusion centers identify and understand critical incidents as they unfold, which is then shared with the decisionmakers that determine the allocation of resources and communicate with the public to ensure safety. As national responses to civil unrest have demonstrated, the whole community is responsible for ensuring public safety. Traditional public safety agencies (i.e., law enforcement, fire protection, emergency medical services) are no longer the only ones with a significant role To ensure a successful response, each stakeholder in the whole community is a part of the Information Sharing Environment (ISE).
Figure 1. Whole Community Participants in the Information Sharing Environment
Hospital and healthcare facilities, public health departments and emergency management agencies, religious and community-based organizations, private sector businesses, and individual citizens are all considered whole community participants. When fusion centers receive information from all of these participants, it helps to build their understanding of threats or incidents.
Figure 2. Private Sector Information Sharing During Civil Unrest Supports Public Safety
Timely, trusted information sharing amongst all stakeholders is essential to our national security and vital to maintaining public safety as neither government nor the private sector alone has the knowledge or resources to do it alone. Private sector information on risks and hazards affecting their business, combined with the information shared by other whole community stakeholders, helps build a holistic national threat picture — better informing the entire federal, state, and urban-area fusion center Network to keep people safe.
Hagerty Can Help
Hagerty Consulting is a national leader in active threat preparedness and has carried out hundreds of exercises and resiliency-building projects for public and private sector clients that aim to build comprehensive preparedness program management, including intelligence and information sharing. Hagerty has the tools and relationships to bridge the gap between public and private fusion centers and facilitate engagement from whole community stakeholders across the ISE.
Hunter Seeker Exercise
Hagerty is made up of professionals who developed their expertise in diverse environments—including the private and public sectors, military, and traditional and non-traditional intelligence sectors. Rooted in this experience, Hagerty developed Hunter Seeker, an exercise concept designed specifically to evaluate information sharing systems between whole community participants of the ISE. Hagerty has conducted multiple Hunter Seeker exercises, helping fusion centers and their partners develop, test, and hone their intelligence and information sharing capabilities. This exercise presents a scalable, scenario-based exercise aiming to build intelligence and information sharing relationships across the private and public sectors.
Staffing Surge Support
The public and private sector can call on the Hagerty Response Task Force (RTF). The Hagerty Response Task Force consists of a cadre of emergency managers and other professionals who are willing and able to respond to affected areas nation–wide. The Hagerty RTF can provide staffing surge support specifically to augment intelligence and information sharing through:
Strategic Planning Services and Change Management
Through strategy development, executive roundtables, leadership seminars, and workshops, Hagerty is poised to help build an innovative and collaborative path forward. These activities will allow for the exchange of best practices among intelligence professionals and participants will come away with contacts, strategies, and ideas about the industry’s path forward. After a thorough discovery process, Hagerty can develop a Change Management Toolkit and tailored plans to address:
- Stakeholder Management and Engagement
- Team Development
- Operations Process Impact Analysis and Action
- Training and Exercise Needs Implementations Plan
Timely communication and information sharing is an enduring area of improvement across all agencies around the country for every threat and hazard agencies face. The first step to improving is to formalize mechanisms for sharing and strengthen relationships within the whole community, especially through public-private partnerships.
Glossary of Terms Used
Civil unrest: In the context of this article, civil unrest relates to recent peaceful protests and other First Amendment-protected activities that could impact public safety (e.g., traffic impacts), as well as recent riots, looting, and vandalism.
Community-Based Organizations: Organizations, often local, that work directly with community members and have a strong understanding of the needs, vulnerabilities, and desired improvements of the community.
Fusion Centers: designed to connect intelligence and information management professionals and strengthen the Information Sharing Environment. Though fusion centers have traditionally been governmental agency-owned and operated, many private sector fusion centers have been created as organizations across industries see their value in protecting their people, products, facilities, and brand.
Information Sharing Environment (ISE): network of people, programs, and organizations that support intelligence and information sharing.
Network: There are 80 government-run fusion centers around the country which make up the National Network of Fusion Centers. Collaboratively, the Network brings critical context and value to Homeland Security and Law Enforcement.
Althea de Guzman is the Lead of the Information and Intelligence Sharing service line at Hagerty. She manages the St. Louis Regional Portfolio, which includes the St. Louis Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack (CCTA) Program. Althea leverages her experience in healthcare and project management to support hospital and healthcare coalition initiatives in the region and around the country. Recently, Althea leveraged her expertise in the development and execution of multi-site, multi-jurisdictional, and multi-disciplinary exercises and translated it into a remote environment, leading Hagerty’s virtual exercise offerings. Althea graduated from and is affiliated with The University of Chicago, supporting emerging professionals to understand complex adaptive systems in emergency management and homeland security.
Anne Armstrong is an Associate at Hagerty. While pursuing her Master’s degree in Washington, D.C., Anne worked on federal policy and strategy in the non-profit space and at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Policy. Anne has contributed to a diverse portfolio of projects, including a federal strategy to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure and a recovery plan for an international NGO in the wake of violent conflict. Prior to joining Hagerty, Anne was living and working in Amman, Jordan, as a Boren Fellow.