Philadelphia, June 28, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter welcomed national, state, and regional partners to the grand opening of the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center (DVIC) today. The DVIC is a state-of-the art facility equipped with the latest technologies, collaborative partnerships, and multi-disciplinary professionals working jointly to support the public safety mission throughout the Philadelphia region.
“The DVIC provides an all-threat, all-crimes, all-hazards approach to information sharing, which further enhances regional coordination,” said Mayor Nutter. “This center provides real, tangible security benefits for our region with the ability to monitor all modes of transportation, big events, and even existing security camera networks. This is a key step for our City and region, the sixth largest metro region in the nation, in preparing to respond to emergency situations.”
The DVIC shares the same mission as other state and major urban area intelligence centers – known as fusion centers – by fusing non-traditional collectors of intelligence such as public health organizations, colleges and universities, and private businesses with law enforcement to provide meaningful information and intelligence about potential threats. The center will also allow emergency responders to better identify and forecast crime, terrorism and all types of hazards including weather events.
“The DVIC ushers in a new era in public safety,” said Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison. “Collaboration with our regional, state, federal and private sector partners has received a tremendous boost by this facility becoming a reality. Effective, regional information will flow, and we have improved our ability to provide responsive homeland security.”
One of seventy-eight fusion centers in the United States, the DVIC is classified as a regional fusion center focused on sharing information in Southeastern Pennsylvania with support functions for four state fusion centers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware.
“The Delaware Valley Intelligence Center is an information analysis and dissemination facility whose mission is to support the identification and recognition of all crimes, all threats, and all man-made or natural hazards to enhance public safety in the region. That area includes Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, Northern Delaware and Northeastern Maryland. The Center will support and enhance the activities of the numerous investigative, operational and emergency management professionals through accurate and timely information exchange. Throughout this process, the protection of individual civil liberties and civil rights will be paramount and consistent with all federal, state and local laws,” said Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey
The Delaware Valley Intelligence Center is operational twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. Agencies represented in the DVIC include the Philadelphia Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center, Criminal Intelligence Unit, Homeland Security Unit, and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Watch Center; SEPTA and Amtrak Police Units; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Coast Guard, and regional partner agencies. These member agencies will provide comprehensive information sharing throughout the Philadelphia region.
The DVIC is governed by a Managing Board composed of agencies providing funding for the project. The Managing Board agencies are the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness, the Philadelphia Area Regional Transit Security Working Group, the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Police Department, and Executive Director of the DVIC, Philadelphia Police Inspector Walt Smith. There is also an Executive Advisory Committee composed of all DVIC member agencies.
Inspector Smith said, “Accurate and timely information, as well a proper communication, is the cornerstone of ensuring public safety in any situation. The Delaware Valley Intelligence Center will support a multi-disciplinary risk-based problem-solving approach to proactively address terrorism, crime, and all-hazard threats using a community-focused public safety strategy.”
The DIVC is not intended to replace county Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) or substitute state and federal investigative/response agencies. As a fusion center, the DVIC will support public and private sector information sharing, tactical operations, intelligence gathering and strategic planning. It will also link regional field assets, enhance situational awareness, and serve as a gathering place for regional partners.
The City of Philadelphia has invested about half of the costs associated with design and construction of the site, and federal grant dollars totaling $10.6 million were allocated to complete the funding for the $20 million site. In addition, the City and federal government will also split the $2 million per year operational expenses through federal grant funding.