Decatur, GA. - Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan announced today that Georgia’s Fusion Center known as GISAC, the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center, has been named Fusion Center of the Year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Part of this recognition stems from GISAC’s involvement in the search for Jamie Hood in Athens in March of 2011 and the murder of Jorelys Rivera in Canton in December of 2011. 

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano presented the award to GISAC last week at the National Fusion Center Training Event in Phoenix, Arizona. GISAC was identified as Fusion Center of the Year out of 77 fusion centers across the country.  GISAC was recognized for its successes in establishing excellent partnerships and the integration of federal, state, and local agencies into the Fusion Center.  

GISAC is a multi-agency task force managed and supervised by the GBI.  GISAC works in cooperation with the Georgia Office of Homeland Security on all issues involving threats of terrorism.  By design, GISAC is co-located with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to enhance information sharing.  GISAC was created in October 2001, after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  Georgia was the fourth state to start up a state level information sharing center, now known as a Fusion Center, for law enforcement and public safety agencies to share information and coordinate homeland security activities. The collaborative effort of local, state and federal partners provides resources, expertise and information to the center to better identify, detect, prevent, apprehend and respond to criminal and terrorist activity. GISAC involves various disciplines of law enforcement, and public safety partners to accomplish its mission to analyze and share information of a terroristic or criminal nature.

The mission of GISAC is two-fold: to provide investigative support to law enforcement in Georgia for any and all criminal activity and to dedicate resources to the protection of Georgia’s citizens against the threat of terrorism. 

GISAC played a key role in the manhunt for Jamie Hood in Clarke County in March of 2011. GISAC responded providing 24/7 on-scene support to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD) until the case concluded with the surrender of Hood and the release of his nine hostages four days later.

The resources of GISAC were again tested in December 2011 when the State of Georgia Child Abduction Response Team (CART), coordinated by GISAC, was activated in response to a missing seven-year-old girl, Jorelys Rivera, in Canton, Georgia.  Analysts responded as a function of CART until Jorelys Rivera’s body was recovered in a trash compactor.  At that time, GISAC quickly shifted their response to investigative support. The case was developing rapidly and GISAC provided 24/7 on-scene support for the next three days until the perpetrator was arrested.  Key information leading to the arrest of the suspect, Ryan Brunn, was developed by GISAC analysts and their relationships with fusion centers around the country. 

These are just two examples of how GISAC supports law enforcement in Georgia with not only their analytical talents but their relationships and continuous development of resources to provide the best service possible. 

In addition to the GBI and the Georgia Office of Homeland Security, GISAC partners include the Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia Association Chiefs of Police, Georgia Sheriff’s Association, Georgia Fire Chief’s Association, Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Georgia Technology Authority.  Federal partners include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Department of Homeland Security and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.   

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Contact Information:

John Bankhead - 404-270-8330