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Report: Gov. Justice appoints Mark Sorsaia as Secretary of Dept. of Homeland Security

Nationally recognized analyst promoted to lead WV Intelligence Fusion Center


February 14, 2018

Nationally recognized analyst promoted to lead W.Va. Intelligence Fusion Center


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia agency created in response to the Sept. 11 attacks has a new leader, W.Va. Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy announced Wednesday.

Jessica Griffith is now director of the W.Va. Intelligence Fusion Center (WVI/FC). Secretary Sandy thanked Governor Jim Justice for affirming his selection of Griffith as director, which is effective immediately.

At the W.Va. Fusion Center, multiple levels of law enforcement, public safety agencies and private entities share resources, expertise and information. The resulting collaboration makes the most of their respective resources to prevent, detect, investigate and respond to all hazards – including but not limited to terrorist and criminal activity.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be selected to serve in this capacity,” Griffith said. “My goal is to strengthen partnerships with those agencies who may be underutilizing our services, and educate those who are unaware of our resources and capabilities so that we are able to better assist in helping to protect West Virginians.”

Griffith has been a major part of the Fusion Center’s success. Perhaps her key contribution has been to develop West Virginia’s Fusion Liaison Officer (FLO) program. FLOs embrace the “See Something, Say Something” concept. The program provides a platform for law enforcement, first responders, and others in both the public and private sectors to strengthen information-sharing.

The West Virginia FLO program has been recognized both locally and nationally for assisting the response to numerous recent natural disasters. Griffith was honored in 2016 for her outreach efforts and dedication to working with private sector partners, receiving the Partnership Award from the West Virginia International Association of Special Investigation Units. 

Griffith established the FLO program following her 2011 hiring as Homeland Security Manager. She has also served as Supervisory Analyst and FLO Coordinator. Griffith previously worked for the West Virginia State Police as an Intelligence Analyst.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree from what is now West Liberty University, and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree from Fairmont State University.  Griffith is also a graduate of the Fusion Center Leaders Program.

 “My father had a very successful career in law enforcement and criminal investigations.  His drive and determination to protect the citizens of this great state inspired me to follow in his footsteps,” Griffith said. “I feel fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to continue working in a field about which I feel so passionately.”

Watching the events of 9/11 unfold on television, meanwhile, instilled in Griffith a resolve “to help protect the United States from future terrorist attacks.” As Director, Griffith said she will seek to expand awareness about Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) tools available to everyday citizens, “since the West Virginia Intelligence/Fusion Center is the repository for SARs in the state.”     

Griffith is just the second director of the W.Va. Intelligence Fusion Center since its founding, 10 years ago next month. She succeeds Thom Kirk, who remains the deputy secretary and general counsel for Military Affairs and Public Safety. The Fusion Center is overseen by the Cabinet Department’s Office of the Secretary.

“For nearly a decade, the West Virginia Fusion Center has received countless awards and accolades from across the world, and its work in West Virginia behind-the-scenes has been stellar,” said Secretary Sandy. “I am confident that Ms. Griffith, as the new director of the Fusion Center, will continue the tradition of assisting all West Virginia and our nation’s law enforcement officers.”

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LAWRENCE MESSINA (304) 558-2930 Lawrence.C.Messina@wv.gov