From the thesis abstract: "The attacks of September 11, 2001, were a wakeup call for the United States. In the aftermath, the U.S. government created the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate the efforts of securing the nation's porous borders. One of the many tools developed to secure the nation was the development of a network of state and local fusion centers throughout the country. This thesis examines the effectiveness of fusion centers as a network of information collaboration to counter illegal activity by involving rural residents and local law enforcement as force multipliers in sparsely populated border states. This study incorporates case studies from the states of North Dakota and Washington, as both are northern tier states whose geographical diversities and challenges are representative of problems facing any northern border state. The results of this study suggest that fusion centers, while still in their infancy, are an effective tool to enhance information flow and provide leadership the ability to centralize efforts to leverage resources to counter both natural and manmade events."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: http://www.nps.edu/Library/index.aspx