San Diego Police Become Domestic Intelligence Players

By Matthew Harwood

Going forward, SDPD is continuing to develop its intelligence skills, Mills and Clark report. When a relevant arrest is made, police officers now interrogate suspects with the goal of mining them for relevant information to fill identified intelligence gaps. But the SDPD’s efforts go far beyond that.

“The CIU’s intent is that officers learn pro-active recruitment and elicitation techniques for application against local threat targets as well as the general principles of battlefield HUMINT [human intelligence],” the authors report. “Furthermore, SDPD intel analysts are being trainined in Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Financial Intelligence (FININT), Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT), Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) and Technical Intelligence (TECHINT); and the department is working to maintain close relationships with other agencies...”

Outside of developing its own intelligence capability, police departments should be connected to their local fusion centers, Mills and Clark argue. There, local police departments can connect with other police departments in their area and across the nation as well as access traditional members of the U.S. intelligence community.

“In such an environment the San Diego Police Department could send an [request for information] to Boston police asking them to collect against a local money exchange business,” write Mills and Clark, adding “The CIA could request source coverage from Columbus police on Somalis traveling to Kenya.”

However, the authors argue this isn’t happening enough. Instead, a framework exists for a domestic intelligence network with “staggering--yet untapped” potential for identifying and disrupting terrorist plots.

♦ Photo by Thairms/Flickr


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