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Disparity Between Fusion Center Web Content and Self-Reported Activity

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2016
17 pages
This study used a mixed-methods approach that combined a content analysis of fusion center web content with fusion center self-report data gleaned from a federally funded project.
The fusion center literature is limited and lacks consensus regarding operational focus and strategic priorities. Perhaps the lone consistent finding in this literature is the lack of awareness among outsiders regarding what fusion centers do and the capabilities they provide. Contemporary communication research indicates the Internet serves as the primary source of information to inform what they do not understand. The current study encompassed 74 of the 77 primary and officially recognized fusion centers in the United States. Results indicate that centers provide limited information online about their organization and significantly underreport their activities and capabilities online in comparison to self-reported tasks. Information available online through official fusion centers websites is poor at best. Fusion centers self-report to engage in tasks consistent with their information-sharing and analytic mission. A context for the findings is provided in addition to recommendations and study limitations. 36 references (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: January 1, 2016