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Federal funding runs out for Wisconsin anti-terrorism centers

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Federal funds are about to disappear for two anti-terrorism centers in Wisconsin. The state Justice Department runs the Statewide Information Center in Madison – and it’s expected to get state tax dollars to cover the loss. The Intelligence Fusion Center in Milwaukee will use local tax dollars to keep its personnel, who determine threat levels for various events.

Police Chief Ed Flynn’s biggest concern is a loss of technology to maintain software that helps officers deal with potential terrorist targets like utilities, colleges, and the Miller Park baseball stadium. Milwaukee’s intelligence center and a related threat-analysis center for southeast Wisconsin serve eight counties in all. Flynn hopes his facilities can work more closely with the Madison center.

Besides homeland security, the statewide agency offers prosecution and criminal investigative services to local authorities. It also provides specialized surveillance, and it runs the state’s Clearinghouse for Missing-and-Exploited Children and Adults. The state’s anti-terrorist programs have already lost 88-percent of their federal money since 2005. The proposed state budget includes over $800,000 in each of the next two years to maintain the statewide center and add three new analysts.