The ISC enhances coordination, cooperation, and intelligence sharing among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, while providing them reliable intelligence to help them safely execute tactical operations and achieve maximum investigative impact. Strategically, the ISC fosters intelligence and information sharing relationships among the law enforcement and public health communities nationally to maintain optimal situational awareness and provide accurate, timely assessments and analyses of current and emerging trends in drug trafficking, abuse, and related crime. In this way, the ISC supports the ongoing efforts of the LMA HIDTA Executive Board to implement effective strategies that efficiently maximize limited resources to combat the drug threats present in the LMA HIDTA and surrounding areas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
The ISC Research and Analysis Section (RAS) is headed by a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) intelligence supervisor and staffed with analysts from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (HIDTA-funded) and the Pennsylvania National Guard Counterdrug Joint Task Force. The RAS provides tactical and investigative intelligence in support of investigations conducted by LMA HIDTA enforcement initiatives and participating agencies within its area of responsibility as well as law enforcement counterparts nationwide. An equally important role of the RAS is to monitor trends in drug trafficking, abuse, and related criminal activity and publish a variety of strategic intelligence products designed to assist federal, state, and local law enforcement managers and policymakers in their decisions to implement effective enforcement and demand reduction strategies that maximize their resources and achieve the greatest impact in the community. Analytical assessments of current and emerging trends are published in various strategic intelligence products, the most significant of which is the annual LMA HIDTA Threat Assessment, a comprehensive and multi-functional report used by the LMA HIDTA Executive Board and administrative management to develop its annual strategy and evaluate its past performance.
The LMA HIDTA ISC Watch Center is focused on one mission – to keep federal, state, and local law enforcement officers safe. To that end, the Watch Center provides event deconfliction services – controlled and secure monitoring of operations in which law enforcement officers and investigators work in geographic proximity to each other at the same time, and immediate notification of affected parties when potential conflicts arise with other law enforcement actions or events – using the Regional Information Sharing Systems network. The deconfliction of law enforcement operations by the Watch Center, essentially an “air traffic control” for law enforcement, prevents the disruption of investigative efforts and, more importantly, the unintentional injury or death of officers in the line of duty.
Watch Center operations are conducted by specially trained Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) officers located at the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center (DVIC). At the DVIC, LMA HIDTA watch operations serve regional law enforcement’s needs and enhance officer safety more effectively, in that they are collocated with the PPD’s Real-Time Crime Center, as well as other key PPD, City of Philadelphia, and federal agency intelligence and homeland security components.
The Heroin Response Strategy (HRS) is an initiative designed to enhance public health, public, safety collaboration and to strengthen and improve efforts to reduce drug overdose deaths across ten High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs).
The mission of the HRS is to reduce fatal and non-fatal opioid overdose incidents by developing and sharing information about heroin and other opioids across agencies and disciplines, and by offering evidence based intervention strategies.
With support from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an HRS Public Health Analyst (PHA) and a Drug Intelligence Officer (DIO) are assigned to each HRS state, working to build infrastructure to support inter-agency communication and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
PHAs and DIOs work collaboratively with various local, state, and federal agencies to gather, analyze, and disseminate vital information about drug abuse with a focus on actionable intelligence, trend information, and best practices for developing evidence-based responses to the opioid epidemic in their area.
Each PHA and DIO is supported by a Regional Point of Contact (POC) who provides regular communication; connects PHAs and DIOs to resources and subject matter experts; provides guidance on work plan development and the fulfillment of various reporting requirements; assists with the onboarding process to orient new PHAs and DIOs to the HRS; and facilitates PHA/DIO collaboration.
A Nationwide Real-Time Overdose Surveillance System
HIDTA’s Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program–ODMAP, assists public health, fire, emergency medical service and law enforcement agencies track known and suspected overdose incidents using Smart phone technology.
ODMAP helps decision makers develop strategies and tactics tocurb the spread of substance abuse disorders and reduce overdose occurrences.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) funded the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (W/B HIDTA) to develop ODMAP and provide it free-of-charge to first responders and government agencies.
How Does It Work?
This easy to use technology relies on first responders to report overdose occurrences by simply touching a button on the ODMAP website application installed on their Smartphone or computer. ODMAP works on Windows, Android, iOS and OSX devices using a standard browser–Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Geo coded information on the location of the overdose is sent automatically to a secure server where it is mapped and made available for analysis by authorized personnel from your agency. With the support of ESRI software, the data quickly reveals where, when and how frequently overdoses are happening across the U.S. on a map viewable only by participating agencies.
Interested—Do you want to get access for your Agency?
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These programs along with our initiatives, both enforcement and support allow HIDTA to combat the regional drug threat.