Friday, October 5, 2012

Federal Report Cites Unfinished Philadelphia Counterterrorism Center As Flawed

Jonathan Tamari at the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the federal report that criticises the establishment of the counterterrorism fusion center at the old Philadelphia "Quartermaster"site.

Philadelphia's sluggish efforts to build and staff a counterterrorism center came under an unflattering spotlight Wednesday when a U.S. Senate report criticized oversight of a project that has spent roughly $2.3 million in federal money since 2006 but that has barely gotten launched.
The report asserts that as of August, the "fusion center" - intended as an intelligence-sharing crossroads for city, state, federal, and port officials from around the region - still didn't exist.

... City officials, however, say that a small center is operating and that plans to build a regional intelligence center were back on track, particularly since the Philadelphia Police Department recently took control of the project.

"The facility is extremely important. We're excited about it. It's moving forward," said Tom Elsasser, a legislative assistant to Everett Gillison, deputy mayor for public safety and Mayor Nutter's chief of staff.

The building of the center is about a year behind schedule, but, Elsasser said, "we have not spent money improperly."

The city plans to build the $20 million center at the old Army Quartermaster Corps site at 20th Street and Oregon Avenue in South Philadelphia. (Seen in the above photo).

You can read the rest of the story via the below link:

You can also read my Counterterrorism magazine piece on the Quartermaster fusion center via the below link:

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