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How Hamilton County Helps In Situations Like San Bernardino

Tana Weingartner
Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil explains how local law enforcement would work together in an active shooter situation. Capt. Mike Hartzler with the Fusion Center is second from the right.

Area law enforcement are constantly training, updating their training, and preparing for active shooter situations like the one Wednesday in San Bernardino, California.

Should something occur locally, the Greater Cincinnati Fusion Center inside Hamilton County's Regional Emergency Operations facility in Price Hill, is ready to help coordinate resources, and it would get support from other Fusion Centers across the country.

Captain Mike Hartzler explains how the center helped officials in San Bernardino.

Credit Provided / Hamilton County Sheriff's Office
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office
"HCSO Special Response Team conducts exercises in various settings (schools, businesses, malls, courthouses, etc) using simulated bullets preparing for possible situations (active shooter, hostages, barricade, officer down, explosives, etc.) we may face." Mike Robison, HCSO

"While that was going on," says Hartzler, "we were getting communication live - real time communication - from the Fusion Center in that area. In fact, they were inundated with different requests so many of the Fusion Centers throughout the United States were working on intelligence to try and take some information and see what they could pass back to that Fusion Center."

Fusion Centers can help law enforcement by checking their databases for relevant information or combing through tips or other data.

"Specifically, if you have social media feeds or other types of information which I can't really go into detail about, we all pretty much have the same capabilities. One agency can be working on that while another is working on something else. For example, Pennsylvania's state Fusion Center, (Wednesday) night, came up with some information for California."

There are more than 70 Fusion Centers in the U.S.

Hartzler says the network breaks down barriers between local, state, and federal agencies that can slow down emergency responders.