Learn more about the units that make up Ohio's primary fusion center and statewide intelligence hub.
Explosive Detecting K9 Program
Ohio Homeland Security partnered with seven state universities to add explosive-detection canines to their police departments. Bowling Green State University, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, Ohio State University, Ohio University, University of Toledo, and Youngstown State University each added a canine in an effort to increase safety on campus and in surrounding communities.
In addition, OHS also has an explosive-detection canine team. Chloe, a female German Shepherd, and her handler, Mike Palumbo, a retired Army major and former Union County Sheriff's deputy, with 9 years previous experience as a canine handler, are a valuable resource that can be called upon by law enforcement agencies for assistance anywhere in the state.
This network of explosive-detection canines adds another layer of safety to our universities and their surrounding communities, while also serving as a deterrent to those who intend to harm our citizens.
Infrastructure Protection Unit
Ohio Homeland Security's Infrastructure Protection (IP) Unit protects critical infrastructure, key resources, and assets by sharing information, conducting assessments, and identifying vulnerabilities and consequences. The IP Unit helps create a safer Ohio by providing threat and vulnerability assessments and by deploying SkyWatch™ Towers at the request of local law enforcement.
Threat and Vulnerability Assessment
Security assessments concerning threats, vulnerability, and risk are provided at no charge to public- and private-sector partners in Ohio. Assessments offer guidance regarding the safety of a facility's physical assets and operational procedures. IP Unit assessors will review emergency plans and procedures with your management, look at facility threat and vulnerability assessment history, and identify potential mass casualty areas.
- Security Program Management
- Perimeter Barriers
- Building Barriers
- Intrusion Detection
- Surveillance Equipment
- Access Controls
- Security Force
- Utility Services
After the assessment, you will be provided a Summary of Findings and an optional Out Brief presentation. All assessments include commendable actions and remedial options for consideration.
The SkyWatch™ Tower is a 30-foot-tall mobile, observational structure equipped to provide additional security and situational awareness to special events with crowds over 5,000 people. With four fully-functional pan, tilt, and zoom cameras, the SkyWatch™ Tower provides 360-degree security awareness at no cost to law enforcement agencies in Ohio, dependent on availability.
The SkyWatch™ Tower adds an additional level of security to an event with only a 15' x 30' footprint. The climate-controlled structure remains functional in hot and cold weather and is able to be self-powered by a generator or plugged into a local power source to ensure continuous surveillance. Operated mainly by OHS IP Unit staff, the SkyWatch™ Tower only requires one local law enforcement officer assigned to monitor the structure.
What is provided?
- The 30-foot-tall SkyWatch™ Tower structure
- Four pan, tilt, and zoom cameras with wired and wireless connection options for remote viewing
- Transportation and set-up of the tower
- Trained OHS IP Unit staff member to help with monitoring and operating the tower
- Ability to monitor for multiple days depending on availability
Intelligence Liaison Officer Program (ILO)
The Intelligence Liaison Officer (ILO) Program increases local, statewide, and regional intelligence collaboration by building relationships with local representatives who report to the Ohio Fusion Center Network (OFCN) for the purpose of analysis, sharing, and dissemination of intelligence. The ILO Program allows a diverse range of sectors to enhance street-level intelligence collection by having trained ILOs with the ability to recognize threat indicators and report suspicious activity through their agency/organization to the OFCN. Currently, Ohio has over 1,000 ILOs in the field, with at least one ILO serving as a point of contact in every county across the state.
For additional information and to join the program, please visit the ILO program webpage.
Ohio Public Private Partnership (OP3)
To serve Ohioans before, during, and after a disaster, the Ohio Department of Public Safety relies on strong partnerships among citizens, government, higher education, and private business. The Ohio Public Private Partnership (OP3) program provides current information and situational awareness on disaster prevention, response, and recovery efforts to state agency and business executives, allowing decisions and resources to best support the needs of impacted communities.
Ohio Cyber Program
The goal of the Ohio Cyber Program is to widely develop and promote cybersecurity programs and services that improve the cybersecurity posture for the state of Ohio. Program activities provide OHS with the opportunity for improvement on cybersecurity prevention, protection, and response per the state of Ohio THIRA, Stakeholder Preparedness Review, and grant funding from FEMA.
This program works closely with the Ohio Cyber Security Center, the Statewide Terrorism Analysis and Crime Center (STACC), the Ohio Fusion Centers, the Intelligence Liaison Officer (ILO) Program, the Ohio School Safety Center, the Critical Infrastructure Team, and the Education & Outreach Team to provide a comprehensive and multi-faceted statewide approach. Collaboration strengthens the cyber security capabilities of OHS’s partners and Ohio’s citizens while mitigating risk and the impact of a cyberattack.
Scrap Metal Program
Every scrap metal and bulk merchandise container dealer must be registered with the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety, which will maintain an online registry. In addition to the Scrap Metal Dealer Registry, Ohio Homeland Security maintains a “Do Not Buy From” list for use by law enforcement and can provide analytic support. Access is available at no cost through the Contact and Information Management System (CIMS).
For additional information, please visit the Scrap Metal program webpage.
Terrorism Analysis Unit
In coordination with the Ohio Fusion Center Network, Ohio Homeland Security's Terrorism Analysis Unit (TAU) analyzes information to create intelligence products to distribute a comprehensive and neutral homeland security perspective. TAU routes appropriate products and information to federal, state, local, and private-sector partners. The unit:
- Serves as a catalyst and facilitator for effective exchange of information
- Operates and responds to the Suspicious Activity tip-line, 877-OHS-INTEL (647-4683)
- Monitors emerging trends and technologies to develop and relay reports, bulletins, advisories, and alerts
- Monitors and reports on situational awareness of terrorism related incidents
- Disseminates terrorism-related information
Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police
Buckeye State Sheriffs' Association
Columbus Police & Fire Counter Terrorism Unit