Baton Rouge fusion center utilized during deadly hostage situation
POSTED: Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 6:30pm
UPDATED: Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 6:34pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — The Louisiana Fusion Center in Baton Rouge connects law enforcement from across the state, and played a major role in this week's deadly hostage situation.
Just 24-hours after a deadly hostage situation rocked the state, Senator Mary Landrieu is taking a close look at the state's fusion center, the network responsible for sharing information throughout Louisiana.
"We were able to brief her on exactly what we knew about the individual, the hostage taker from St. Joeseph, to know that he traveled to Yemen," explained Col. Mike Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police.
"One of the roles that I serve in Washington is to make sure that the resources get here on the ground in Louisiana to fund these efforts that are underway, that everyday, 24/7 are trying to protect the citizens with new technology and new methods," explained Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu.
Colonel Mike Edmonson said throughout the hostage situation, the analysts back in the Baton Rouge Fusion Center were helping to save at least one life.
"One of his [the hostage takers] demands was to talk to a friend in Alaska, we made that happen, this center, the fusion center, made that happen so we could connect the two. That was the release of a hostage, so that was a huge thing," explained Edmonson.
Edmonson said though they weren't able to stop the situation in St. Joseph, working through the fusion center helps them prevent countless other threats every day.
"When you're so proactive, you don't know the true numbers of what you're able to stop, because that was an unfortunate situation in St. Joe. I grieve with those families,” said Edmonson.
Senator Landrieu chairs the Homeland Security Board and explained that these types of collaborations are vital.