Today, Governor Bobby Jindal was joined by Superintendent of LA. State Police Col. Mike Edmonson, Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Interim Dir. Pat Santos and federal and local law enforcement officials to tour the Louisiana State Analytical and Fusion Exchange (LA-SAFE) and announce more staffing and support during the 9/11 anniversary period to keep Louisiana safe.
Governor Jindal said, "We are marking the 10th anniversary of September 11th attacks. This anniversary is a humble reminder that freedom is not free. Not only do we have brave men and women who fight and sacrifice for our freedom, but we must also remain vigilant against those who hate freedom and threaten our state and our nation. We are here today because the Louisiana State Fusion Center -- called LA-SAFE -- which is operated by the Louisiana State Police and its local, parish and federal partners, has expanded its operations with the approaching anniversary of 9/11.
"While the terrorist attacks may have happened in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, five Louisianians were lost in this tragedy -- and 130 Louisiana soldiers have sacrificed their lives in the defense of freedom in the War on Terror. Although there is no credible threat related to the state at this time, the Fusion Center is leaning forward in an effort to maintain situational awareness and response readiness.
"The Fusion Center has proven itself time-and-time-again as it's brought local, state and national law enforcement officials together with the common goal of keeping our communities safe. The folks at the Center work together around the clock to share information and follow up on critical leads on some of the most heinous crimes that occur within our communities -- and by increasing staffing and support in the Fusion Center during the 9/11 anniversary period -- our law enforcement officers will be more effective at keeping Louisiana safe."
The Fusion Center's primary concerns are identifying violent crime, cyber crime, drug trafficking organizations, gangs, public corruption, sexual predators, terrorism, and national crime organizations.
"Public safety is our number one priority. Increasing staffing within the Fusion Center will improve our ability to maintain situational awareness and more effectively communicate with the public and our law enforcement partners should an incident occur," said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. "We must remain vigilant and work together to ensure the safety of Louisiana's citizens and infrastructure."
The increase in staffing around the 9-11 anniversary will allow suspicious activity reports and tips to be managed more efficiently and help alert authorities to criminal activity. The increase in 24-hour staffing is not in response to any individual threat, but is a result of the Louisiana State Police streamlining its investigative and technological approach to crime fighting and terrorism.
To report suspicious incidents to LA-SAFE, people can visit www.lsp.org and then click on "Suspicious Activity Report."