Dear Chairmen Warner and Turner, Vice Chairman Rubio and Representative Himes:
On behalf of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), we write to express our serious concerns with section 312 of S. 2103, the “Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024.”
As you are aware, the success of the law enforcement community’s crime and violence prevention efforts are highly dependent upon the collection and sharing of effective and actionable information, which includes gathering and sharing intelligence data. In our view, Section 312, as drafted, threatens the ability of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through its Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), to maintain its critical role in these efforts and, as a result, could increase the risks faced by our communities and our homeland.
The I&A was created due to systematic intelligence gathering and sharing failures that contributed to the events on September 11, 2001. In the 20 years since those attacks, the threats
facing the United States have become broader, deeper, and more dynamic which only serves to highlight the need to maintain federal capabilities to assess and monitor intelligence and information sharing capabilities.
If Section 312 of S. 2103 were to be passed into law, it would not only prohibit the I&A’s ability to collect vital publicly available information on individuals who have become radicalized to violence by foreign and domestic terror organizations, but it would also jeopardize law enforcement’s ability to receive information from DHS to better safeguard our communities. Without the ability to collect and share this information with other federal, state, and local agencies, the safety of the American people is at significant risk. We risk blinding ourselves to active and emerging threats by erecting walls between the agencies we have charged to keep the public safe—walls we deliberately removed because they prevented us from identifying and understanding the scope of the plot to attack the United States on September 11th.
We would like to thank you for your continuing commitment to enhancing public safety and for your ongoing support. The IACP and the FOP stand ready to further advise on S. 2103 and look forward to working with you on these important issues to the law enforcement profession and the safety of our communities and our homeland.
National FOP President