An article in USA Today says more state and local law enforcement officers are getting top secret clearances from the FBI to access sensitive federal information in terrorism cases than at anytime since 9/11.
Clearances granted to members of the FBI’s network of regional terrorism task forces jumped to 878 in 2009, up from 125 in 2007…Since 2001, the number of terrorism units, which draw on federal, state and local investigators, have grown from 35 to 104 nationwide. The units are staffed with 4,433 officers and agents, up from 912 in 2001, FBI spokesman Bill Carter told USA Today.
The FBI is launching an effort to declassify information that can be shared with more local investigators. “Trying to get everybody into the clearance arena is not the solution,” FBI Assistant Director Ronald Ruecker reported to USA Today.
After 9/11, the FBI established the State and Local Law Enforcement Executives and Elected Officials Security Clearance Initiative. This program was initiated to brief officials with an established “need-to-know” on classified information that would or could affect their area of jurisdiction.