Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Law Enforcement Security Clearances

Before the events of September 11, 2001, state and local law enforcement access to national security classified information was severely restricted...officially. Unofficially, if the originator of the information felt that the national security was better served by passing information to "uncleared" law enforcement officers, the information got passed. This, however, resulted in spotty distribution and, frankly, many missed opportunities.

Since 9/11 there have been efforts to streamline the process. Finally, some in the federal government began to realize and acknowledge that when it came right down to it, the local agencies could probably use the information more effectively than the feds.

To facilitate understanding and the clearance process, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has published a brochure that "...describes when security clearances are necessary and the notable differences between clearance levels. It also describes the process involved in applying and being considered for a clearance."

Even if local agencies do not wish to look into getting some personnel cleared, it's not a bad idea to discuss the possibilities with their local FBI office.


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