FEDERAL-LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION SHARING

WHEREAS, with over 650,000 local officers, our nation's police forces must be integrated into our national homeland defense planning; and

WHEREAS, local public safety personnel are already being used to respond to and prevent terrorism in untold ways in cities across the nation, but to be most effective, we must ensure that mayors and local law enforcement have access to the best intelligence information available; and

WHEREAS, in the many meetings and discussions held on this subject since September 11, it became clear that barriers, both institutional and attitudinal, still exist at the federal level in regard to this priority; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has met directly with Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, Attorney General Ashcroft, and FBI Director Robert Mueller on this issue, and progress is being made through the Anti-Terrorism Task Forces, Joint Terrorism Task Forces, and the new Homeland Security Advisory System; and

WHEREAS, to ensure that our nation's homeland defense is as integrated as possible, barriers to greater federal-local information sharing must be reduced; and

WHEREAS, legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives entitled the "Federal-Local Information Sharing Partnership Act" (S. 1615/H.R. 3285) which would address gaps in the USA Patriot Act by permitting federal authorities to share federal and international intelligence information with state and local police,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to pass, and the President to sign, legislation which would strengthen federal-local law enforcement communications and the sharing of intelligence.