North Central HIDTA
HIDTA Investigative Support Centers

The HIDTA Program establishes Investigative Support Centers (ISCs) in designated areas specifically to create a communication infrastructure that can facilitate information-sharing between Federal, state, local and tribal law-enforcement agencies. Information gleaned from the collection, evaluation, analysis, and synthesis of intelligence must be shared in order to reduce production, transportation, distribution and demand of illegal or abused drugs. Cooperation in sharing and deconflicting strategic and operational intelligence is critical for combating the international and domestic drug problem.

HIDTA ISCs are therefore the centerpieces of the Program. They facilitate information sharing, intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination, technical and strategic support to HIDTA initiatives and participating agencies. A state or local and a Federal law enforcement agency jointly manage ISCs. The personnel at the ISCs provide event and subject deconfliction services for HIDTA task forces and other law enforcement agencies in and outside the HIDTA region for increased officer safety. They also provide intelligence that increases the effectiveness and efficiency of task forces by analyzing information and identifying drug trafficking organizations and their vulnerabilities. These services help law enforcement agencies target drug trafficking organizations at several levels: local, regional and national. Drug control data is collected from Federal agencies including the ATF, DEA, FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U. S. Customs and Border Protection, along with a multitude of tribal, state and local law enforcement agencies. In most cases an agency representative is on-site and controls the information based on agency rules and regulations. In cases where sensitive information cannot be disclosed, the representative provides contact information so that the agents and/or officers can make direct contact with one another to discuss case overlaps. HIDTA ISCs provide secure sites and information systems for participating law enforcement agencies to store and appropriately share information and intelligence.

Each HIDTA produces an annual drug threat assessment, which is created by the ISC with information received from regional drug control agencies. The threat assessments depict the actual drug threat in the region in order to assist individual departments and agencies in developing strategies and learn about intelligence gaps. They are also useful to policy makers in determining the drug threat priorities and resource allocation.